Sunday, 21 April 2013

Learning to listen

I'm really enjoying the somewhat unusually titled book, Monk Habits for Everyday People, by Dennis Okholm, subtitled,  Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants. A rather refreshing observation he makes early on is that,
Some contemporary Christian worship has a way of secularising worship rather than sanctifying everyday life as the monastic office does

This is an aspect of everyday Christian life which we are trying to help each other with at Grace. In our small groups we are using the excellent material from LICC,  Life on the frontline. And last Sunday I spoke about an old 17th hymn which could almost be an anthem for 'whole of life discipleship'-the wonderful poem/hymn by George Herbert,  Teach me my God and King in all things Thee to see.

Okholm quotes form Michael Casey and his book Guide to Living, on the value of silence, and the danger of talk, emphasised in the Benedictine tradition,

Talk...restricts our capacity to listen, it banishes mindfulness and opens the door to distraction and escapism. Talking too much often convinces us of the correctness of our conclusions and leads some into thinking they are wise. It can be a suble exercise in arrogance and superiority. Often patterns of dependance, manipulation and  dominance are established and maintained by the medium of speech.

As the Tremeloes would sing, Silence is golden. (for all my fellow children of the sixties!!).



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