A Monk’s Bond With Listening
Fr. Daniel Manger, OSB Cam
Here at the Monastery, retreat guests often remark on how the grand silence of our Monastery allows the retreatant to reclaim a sense of themselves. This is not unanticipated since we live with the noise and constant flow of data, information and commercial appeals that, no doubt ,have an effect upon us.
In contrast then to this potential toxicity, time here at the Monastery of the Risen Christ offers an encounter with the natural world’s beauty and listening to and experiencing God’s eternal grace.
As monks in our Benedictine/Camaldolese tradition, we give ourselves over to this listening quest, both as individually and in community with one another.
In so doing, we recover a deeper understanding, a perception and we discover an intelligent thought or a new reflection on the ordinary.
We acquire the stamina for discerning a range of examples of the divine presence within our personal lives and that of the community and creation around us.
When each of us practices turning down the volume and tuning out the multiplicity of media chatter, expositions and noise of commercial messages, we are able to better listen to God, Self, and others.
We then awaken to the wonder of being alive in a beautiful world of relationships.
For the monk, this opens a doorway to thrive and relate this discovery in dedication to God who sustains all beings and things for His greater destiny and purpose.
God – the mystery without origin, out of love in Christ and the Holy Spirit – has shared and created for each of us, a sustaining relationship that will bring us into an eternal fullness already unfolding which gives the monk and our world a solid hope.
This hope is worth living for in the midst of a world where hope is noticeably lacking, replaced by desperation and anxiety.
The monk enters into a bond with God to be vigilant in listening within the silence.
This listening recovers a capacity for spiritual practice, reminding us that all human beings were designed by our Creator.
When we listen in the silence, we are better able to hear the message of peace, of loving, of life-giving hope that sustains justice and compassion and a humane communion with all of creation.