(Click above to listen to Bells from St Ottilien)
“Listen, the Rule says.
“Listen,” the Bell says
“Listen,” monastic spirituality says.
J Chittister Wisdom Distilled
“The spiritual life is achieved only by listening to all of life and learning to respond to each of it’s dimensions wholly and with integrity.” JC
Yesterday I fell asleep in my cell/room in the afternoon after jet lag just got the best of me. I was exausted. As I fell asleep I began to have so many dreams of my life right now. Familiar faces and voices and demands that seem constant and are now part of my sub-conscious. Those voices are deep inside all of us but many times we cannot hear them until we move into ‘silence mode’. They are the voices deep inside of us begging us to listen to them. Sometimes voices of despair, or regret, or sorrow, or emptiness. They speak to us of our existential demeaner. Our deepest fears and concerns. Perhaps that is why we would prefer to not Listen but to fill in that empty space with noise and confusion.
The Rule of Benedict refers to Scripture as the Voice of Christ. That voice is gentle, soothing, coaxing, inviting.
Just then, as the deep voices seemed to be trying to drown me in my dreams I was awoken by the Bells of the Monastery calling me to Vespers. I quickly got dressed and rushed into the chapel before the Bells ended indicating Vespers would begin. When the bells stopped vespers began with the eternal prayer of need and trust, “God come to my assistance! Lord make haste to help me!”
Then the most smoothing voices of the Vesper liturgy began to break the silence and the fears. Vincentosb
“The bells ring out around the monastery to alert people around us that we are listening to the Word of God, to put the world on notice that we may be different now, to warn the universe that we are trying to hear more clearly the whisper of God in the gentle breezes of life.”