Christian Community

Lesson 18: God, Truth, and Reality

Lesson 18: God, Truth, and Reality

Sister Joan ended her book with a reprise of the monastic vision found in the Benedictine Rule. She emphasized it offers a practical way to live the Gospel now by discerning God’s presence in all creation. I understand that as perceiving the design running through all creation is the love we know in Jesus Christ. […]

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Lesson 17:  Peace- Sign of the Disarmed  Heart

Lesson 17: Peace- Sign of the Disarmed Heart

About half way through the chapter, Chittister wrote that being at peace gives “the courage to evaluate what is patently wrong but never open for discussion.” As soon as I read her words, a brash comment made by an executive of an arms company several decades ago came to mind. We were at a meeting […]

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Lesson 16: The Way of Conversion

Lesson 16: The Way of Conversion

I was recently at a conference where a female Roman Catholic scholar who had worked in ecumenical relationships for decades revealed she was finally beginning to appreciate that the most important first step in healing our broken Church was coming to appreciate each other’s languages. Her thoughts popped into my mind as I was reading […]

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Lesson 15: New Christian Communities

Lesson 15: New Christian Communities

I promised to share some of my friends’ understanding of modern Christian community. Kerry Walters is a retired philosophy professor whose words often appear in the Huffington Post. I think his following Facebook post speaks for itself. I’d be interested in hearing your critique of his understanding of the Church. Why I am an American […]

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Lesson 14: Stability

Lesson 14: Stability

If my first attraction to the Benedictine Rule was its hospitality, my second was its stability. A pastor easily felt the impact of the mobile technology at first offered and then demanded. Children leaving town for college, exciting vocations, and big time salaries brought new opportunities. However, before long, opportunity became demand as there were […]

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Lesson 13: Obedience

Lesson 13: Obedience

How in the world do you handle obedience in today’s world? Supposedly, freedom means we respect no person’s authority to tell us what to do. Yet we are continually forced to comply with the demands of the system. And we all suspect there are some Wizards of Oz back there manipulating the whole thing, even […]

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Lesson 12: Hospitality

Lesson 12: Hospitality

I first read the Benedictine Rule at the very beginning of my ministry. I remember being impressed that the porter was to treat every one who knocked at the monastery’s door as if they might be Christ himself and that special attention was to be given to the poor and the pilgrim. Two weeks later, […]

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Lesson 11: Giftedness

Lesson 11: Giftedness

In 2000, Robert Putnam published Bowling Alone. It has quickly become a classic for understanding modern American community. His thesis is that our nation has lost our sense of the common good, because technology inherently promotes radical individualism. He used the breakdown of voluntary groups such as bowling leagues, social clubs, fraternal organizations, and churches as […]

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Chapter 10: Leisure

Chapter 10: Leisure

The media greeted the 70s with more than the usual number of articles on what the future held for the next ten years. As a young pastor, I read as many as I could thinking they might indicate how I should be preparing to minister. As I remember, number one on every list predicted the […]

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Lesson 9: Common Housing Movement

Lesson 9: Common Housing Movement

I am going to take time off from Chittister to acknowledge the wide variety of responses I have received to the recent lessons. Obviously now, as in the past, there have always been efforts to find better forms of community. Our participants reflect the usual positions, running from the need for correcting the present system […]

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