Nurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationSabbath Keeping FastingPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthA Renewed SpiritualityDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelPersonality Type in CongregationsBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Benedictine spirituality: the second vow, conversion of life

Lynne Baab • Thursday February 18 2016

Benedictine spirituality: the second vow, conversion of life

Benedict’s second vow nicely balances his first vow, stability. We are called, according to the Rule, to embrace conversion of life. While we commit ourselves to look faithfully for God in the places and routines we are committed to (the vow of stability), we also must allow God to open us to change and growth (the vow of conversion of life).

We often use the word “conversion” to refer to the specific point when a person turns away from their former way of life and turns toward God. Benedict used it differently. Benedict saw “conversion” both as a moment in time when...

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Benedictine spirituality: the first vow, stability

Lynne Baab • Friday February 12 2016

Benedictine spirituality: the first vow, stability

The first vow laid out in Benedict’s Rule is stability. To a monk or sister, it means being committed to stay in this particular monastic house with these particular people. It means being willing to look for God here in the constancy of this place in this rhythm of life, rather than seeking God in ever-changing places and varied routines.

In Beyond the Walls: Monastic Wisdom for Everyday Life, Paul Wilkes calls stability a “sense of where you are,” and he believes that our disjointed lives and fragmented society present ample evidence that we desperately need to embrace stability. “What was needed,...

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Benedictine spirituality: monastic living in ordinary life

Lynne Baab • Thursday February 4 2016

Benedictine spirituality: monastic living in ordinary life

Paul Wilkes, a Catholic writer and teacher, wrote a very helpful book called Beyond the Walls: Monastic Wisdom for Everyday Life. He describes his attempt to become a Trappist monk several times during his life. The Trappists are a monastic order based on the principles of Benedict’s Rule. Wilkes spent extended periods of time living at a Trappist monastery, hoping to receive a call from God to monastic life.

Instead he received a call to marriage and parenthood. He continues to spend time regularly at a Trappist monastery located several hours from his home, and the basic disciplines of monastic living have...

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Benedictine spirituality: Who was Benedict?

Lynne Baab • Friday January 29 2016

Benedictine spirituality: Who was Benedict?

Perhaps the current interest in Benedictine community living comes in part because of the parallels between Benedict’s time and ours. Benedict of Nursia lived from about 480 to 547, a time of affluence and sophistication in the Roman Empire. Wealth was used unscrupulously for personal political gain, the gap between the rich and the poor was widening, and the church was infected with controversy and political concerns. Child slavery, prostitution, oppression and injustice permeated society. Barbarian tribes from the north were migrating into the settled, agrarian lands of northern Italy, producing a multicultural society characterized by change and instability.

Our times are...

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AWARD WINNER - To be a Neighbour Must Include Listening

Lynne Baab • Friday February 5 2016

This article won a 2017 award from the Australian Religious Press Association for the best social justice article. Social justice didn't cross my mind as I wrote the article. I was just thi...