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Tentative Meeting Dates 2014-15:
Inquirers are always welcome.

  • Come to pray with the community any day!
Sept 7 1st meeting of the year! Topic TBD
Oct 12 Topic TBD
Nov 9 Topic TBD
Dec 14 Topic TBD
Jan 11 (2015) Topic TBD
Feb 8 Topic TBD
Mar 15 Topic TBD
Apr 18 (Sat) Retreat
May 17 Topic TBD

Discussion: The Big Silence, Part 5

19 July 2014

I apologize — I did not suppress the next episode’s blog posting quickly enough.  

I have made an extensive search: the movie has been completely removed from the internet by request of the BBC.  

I encourage you to continue in the Video Divina method – choose what you will watch with care, and then approach the experience of viewing not as “entertainment” but as another venue in which you can listen for God’s word in your life.

Video Divina

Sometimes film can bring more spiritual insight than reading. Oblates are invited to use the video divina approach to viewing this documentary.

“Watching [My Left Foot] profoundly affected how I search for my own humanness in the midst of few handicaps–and made me cognizant of complaining in the face of small odds. Not many books do that.”

~Fr Benedict Auer,
Video Divina: A Benedictine. Approach to Spiritual Viewing

Auer, Benedict, OSB. “Video Divina: A Benedictine Approach to Spiritual Viewing.”  Review for Religious 50.2 (1991): 239-44.

“The Big Silence” has been silenced

13 July 2014


It seems that the YouTube edition of “The Big Silence” that we’ve been watching was probably uploaded illegally, or that the BBC changed its access level.  At any rate, the links are no longer working.

As Sister Paule Pierre said in the comments, we don’t immediately see another online source.  We will keep looking — and will try to find a way to obtain the DVD if nothing else works.

St Benedict tells us, in so many places in The Rule that we do not own anything — and this time, the Internet and copyright law have come along in their own surprising way to help us practice the virtue of “holding lightly” to things we expected to be there. 

Many thanks to the Oblates who left comments to let us know that the links were no longer working. 


Discussion: The Big Silence, Part 4

12 July 2014

This fourth segment of The Big Silence completely moves into the 8-day retreat at a Jesuit center. Their retreat director gives the participants a first in-depth exercise on Listening.

Oblates: Please drop a note in the comments box to share your reactions or your response. Did you try the Listening exercise?  Even if you just say “hello” it’s nice to know you are here.

Visitors: We are always happy to welcome people into our oblate community through the comments section; comments are moderated.

How to watch:  Video Divina

This is an excellent segment for applying the contemplative approach of lectio divina to viewing a video.

“If viewed properly, [video] can challenge monastic religious and others searching for God to explore their lives and apply the film’s principles to their own environment.”

~Fr Benedict Auer,
Video Divina: A Benedictine. Approach to Spiritual Viewing

Auer, Benedict, OSB. “Video Divina: A Benedictine Approach to Spiritual Viewing.”  Review for Religious 50.2 (1991): 239-44.

Feast of St Benedict

11 July 2014

A beautiful post written by Fr Nickolas Becker, a Benedictine monk studying in Rome, provides a beautiful reflection for this Solemnity of St Benedict that we celebrate today, as you can see from this excerpt.  Follow the link to read the entire piece.

“Perhaps the best way to honor Saint Benedict is to attend to his teaching and to love the same things that he loves. He wrote a Rule which serves as the foundation of life for many, many religious communities. One reason why this Rule has endured for over 1500 years is that it is so balanced, so humane. Benedict demonstrates a profound understanding of human nature, and his Rule looks on human weakness with a compassionate eye while making it clear that life in the school of the Lord’s service is not always easy. As the Prologue states, “In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome. The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and safeguard love.” The Rule is designed to help communities of Christians live a moderate life of prayer and work, so that in all things, God may be glorified.”

from “Preferring Nothing to the Love of Christ” by Fr Nickolas Becker, OSB

Look Up: A challenging video

9 July 2014

This 5-minute video – “which its author calls “a spoken word film for an online generation” – challenges us (challenges me!) about the digital tools we have and how we use them.  Although it is not directly about silence, I think it connects with the struggles our friends in The Big Silence are facing. The silence is not only  quiet:  it is the absence of the constant digital companionship. 


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