Sr. Mary Core, OSB completes her four-part series on the monastic promises with this reflection on fidelity to the monastic way of life — in Latin, conversatio morum.

 

Continuing with Sr. Mary Core, OSB’s introduction to the three Benedictine monastic promises. Today she reflects on obedience. Much gentle wisdom here.

In part two of this four part series, Sr. Mary Core, OSB offers a brief reflection on the monastic promise of stability, the first of three essential Benedictine promises.

Here is a short and informative video by a Benedictine sister on the monastic promises of stability, obedience, and fidelity to monastic life. This is part one of a four part series (I’ll post the remaining videos over the next three weeks).

One of my writing students recently introduced me to the work of Eric Whitacre, who has become a bit of a celebrity for his “virtual choir” videos, featuring the recordings of hundreds or even thousands of vocalists from around the world, mixed together to create stunning performances of the composer’s works. As my wife and I were watching one of the virtual choir videos last night, Fran remarked that it would be lovely to see this done with music as prayer. Well, they could start with this deeply contemplative piece, nine minutes of “Alleluia.” While it hasn’t been performed by a virtual choir (yet), this video features a choral recording of “Alleluia” paired with some lovely nature scenery. Watch it, or simply let it be the soundtrack to your day. Either way you’ll be blessed.

Here is a delight: Philip Marshall (I don’t know who he is, but he has a beautiful voice) reads “Immanence,” a poem by Evelyn Underhill. Enjoy!

This is a treat I just discovered the other day: an interview with Howard Thurman, an American mystic who not only represents a beautiful embodiment of contemplative faith as expressed in an African-American, Baptist context, but also who was a prophetic voice for justice (and a mentor to one Martin Luther King, Jr.). This is a long video (over two hours) so bookmark this page and come back to it when you have the time to savor Dr. Thurman’s quiet presence, his beautiful voice, and most of all, his palpably deep wisdom.

Here Cistercian monk, author, and centering prayer practitioner Father William Meninger, OCSO is interviewed by an evangelical pastor, Pete Scazzero of New Life Fellowship, on the topic of “communion with God.” At the beginning Scazzero offers a rather lengthy “history lesson” of the divisions within Christianity, but ends with a lovely ecumenical note: “rather than judge traditions different from us, we want to learn from them.” Amen! (If you want to skip over the introduction, start at about the 5:00 mark). Fr. William begins with a wonderful definition of what a monk is, and many delights ensue.

Here’s a delightful video filmed in 2011, on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness (the book which directly inspired two of my books, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Answering the Contemplative Call). My friend Dana Greene, who is an Underhill scholar, is here interviewed by Liz Ward of the Shalem Institute to shed some light on who Evelyn Underhill was, and why her wonderful book on mysticism still matters, after over a century in print.