After more than 50 years of life in a monastery, Sister Joan Chittister asked herself some questions. What — if anything — of monastic life is worth passing on to others in our time? What does monasticism offer seekers who are already overwhelmed by all the spiritual and secular options available to them? And how can those outside traditional monasteries embrace this life that is both enriching and enlightening?
For an answer she turned to what has been both a guide and a path for her own spiritual journey: the rule of life created by Benedict of Nursia, the sixth-century founder of communal monasticism in the Western world. In her book The Monastery of the Heart, Chittister uses the Rule of Benedict as a framework for a guide to a more purposeful way of being in our time of social upheavals and global transformation. Like Benedict's rule, this Rule says that the spiritual life is simply living our daily life well. What's more, it can be practiced in the midst of the world, without having to withdraw from it. Inviting the participation of seekers of all faiths or no faith, she calls this the Monastery of the Heart.
This Online Retreat is your opportunity to create your own Monastery of the Heart. Through 12 emailed lessons, Joan Chittister will lead you through key elements of Benedictine spirituality: prayer, silence, work, co-creation, hospitality, community, good zeal, sharing, listening heart, and humility. You will receive:
• 12 emails with excerpts from Joan Chittister's book The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life
• questions for reflection, journaling prompts, and suggested creative projects
• audio messages from Joan Chittister on how to practice the rule
• simple practices to incorporate into your daily life
• access to the recordings of two teleconferences with Joan Chittister held when the retreat was first offered in May 2011.
Please note: Although the emails will contain the excerpts from Joan Chittister's book that you will need for this course, you may also want a copy of the entire book. To order The Monastery of the Heart click here.
(4 CEHs for Chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)