Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Spirit Joyously Loose in the World

I first met Benedict Reid in the ‘70s and was immediately impressed by the abiding sense of peace projected by this deeply spiritual man. An excellent listener, he always saw different ways to approach an issue, and he had a wonderful sense of humor. I was delighted recently to find this Benedictine monk now living as a solitary in Palm Desert. Two visits confirmed his ever-expanding spiritual insight, with a twinkle in his eye that betrays his subtle humor and the wisdom gained during his thirty years as Abbot of St. Gregory’s, an Episcopal Benedictine Abbey in Three Rivers, Michigan.

Toward the end of his tenure as Abbot, Benedict went on sabbatical, driving across the U.S., seeking a sense of the future of the Church in today’s world, looking for clues in the working of the Spirit in the world. The journal he kept during his journey was published as “A Spirit Loose in the World”. It recounts his many adventures ranging from visiting monasteries and convents, experiencing Esalen, and spending time with a wide spectrum of spiritual people in the U.S. and Europe.

We are blessed to have this vibrantly alive monk and retired Episcopal priest with us at St. Paul’s during Lent: Saturday, March 29 for A Day of Spiritual Adventure, punctuated by periods of silence, solitude, and inner exploration, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 9:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Benedict will also lead St. Paul’s Lenten Forum on Fasting and Self-Denial on March 30. His book will be available for purchase both days.

In his words, “I saw the yearning and the hints of spiritual desire throughout my sabbatical journey. Now it is my privilege and my joy to nurture the contemplative opening wherever I find it. And it is everywhere… The art of opening up to God is mankind’s next vocation. Let us share that calling for it comes from deep within our hearts and deep within the Divine Heart. It is the work of the Spirit, joyously loose in the world.”

Email or call me for information or to participate in A Day of Spiritual Adventure: 

Margaret Liggett 

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