“There are two happy outcomes to leisure: mindfulness and patience. We put aside our heedless habits and begin to pay serious attention to the world outside…..everything is to be done at the opportune time, as Benedict insists (31:18, 68:2).”  ~Michael Casey, ocso, Strangers in the City

An Interview with Fr. Meinrad Schallberger (FM), Monastery Chaplain; and Sister Gerry Marie Smith (SGM), Spirituality Ministry Team

Why do we need Sabbath?

FM: We need Sabbath because we are not machines. We need to remember we’re not God. Build, build, build…Sabbath takes us out of building mode. In the creation story even God rested on the 7th day. We are human and can’t do everything. We take time to be with people and learn to live in communion, thinking about the needs of one another. Sabbath makes us more loving, more human. God made us to be human.

SGM: Jesus withdrew from his apostles to pray and  we should also withdraw from the world to pray. God wants us to seek that love. All people are called to that love.

Why do we need silence?

SGM: Silence can take us to the experience of God’s love. People are busy…they have children, work. I recommend finding a half hour each day where you can be with your soul. Quiet your mind with deep breathing; focus on the breath. If a half hour’s too much, try at least ten minutes. It may be difficult at first to be quiet and listen and wait for our loving God.

Embrace yourself for all the gifts he has given you, even the ones you may not want. God is always inviting us to wholeness. In silence you can know how deeply you are loved by God.

FM: Through Spirit Center, the sisters give leisure and silence to people. They offer a place to slow down. Society doesn’t always allow you to experience this. That’s the beauty of this place: people can come and slow down to get a glimpse of God’s life.

Why should we observe the liturgical seasons? (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, etc.)

FM: It spreads out the mystery of Christ over a whole year. Instead of lumping it all together, it puts it in bits and pieces for our growth. Not too much all at once: it’s God’s slow, gentle way of working with us.

Learn more about Father Meinrad Schallberger…

Learn more about Sister Gerry Marie Smith…