Monday, February 4, 2008

Fat Tuesday and Lean Wednesday

Two of our sisters head out this week to direct retreats on Benedictine spirituality. One is going to Florida for time with a group of lay people who are strong followers of monastic Benedictine values. Her themes will come from the book Wisdom Distilled From the Daily.

The other heads to the midwest, to a women's Benedictine community there. They are quite large and organize two community retreats a year...one in February and one in June. About half the community makes each. Her theme is the Rule of Benedict and nonviolence and peace.

Back in Erie, we're looking forward to Mardi Gras but since Erie is 1,000 miles from New Orleans and, at this moment, sporting 38 degrees and coming off a January of 33" of snow...the celeration takes on a "northern" flavor. My favorite thing about Fat Tuesday is eating fasnetskiachle, a German cinnamon covered donut..ours are made from scratch by one of the gals in our office. Mmm mmmm!

Here's a lovely excerpt from Thomas Moore that might be something to consider for the Lenten season. Surely beats giving up candy...it might not make us thinner, but it will make us more whole and holy!

Silence is not the absence of sound. That would be to imagine it negatively. Silence is a toning down of inner and outer static, noise that occupies not only the ears but also the attention. Silence allows many sounds to reach awareness that otherwise would go unheard--the sounds of birds, water, wind, trees, frogs, insects, and chipmunks, as well as conscience, daydreams, intuitions, inhibitions, and wishes. One cultivates silence not by forcing the ears not to hear, but by turning up the volume on the music of the world and the soul.