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Dialogue with the Environment

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Provides a Benedictine monastic context for a discussion of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si, from the November 2015 meeting of the Benedictine Oblates in Duluth.

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Dialogue with the Environment

  1. 1. Dialogue with the Environment Sister Edith Bogue Benedictine Oblates St. Scholastica Monastery Duluth, Minnesota 8 November 2015 1
  2. 2. Agenda • Midday Prayer • Announcement • Conference • Discussion • Refreshments 2
  3. 3. Hints inThe Rule 3
  4. 4. In The Rule • St. Benedict's general approach, which sees the presence of Christ in myriads of places, is a foundation. • There is no chapter on the environment. • Many chapters give us good guidance. 4
  5. 5. Manual Labor • "They are truly monks when they live by the labor of their hands." (RB 48.8) • Desert abbas lived in the desert, farmed very small plots. 5
  6. 6. Self-Sustaining • The manner of having farms and gardens was part of the spiritual practice. • "If at all possible [the monastery] is to be so constituted that all necessities, such as water, mill, garden, and various crafts may be practiced within the monastery 7 so there will be no necessity for the monks to wander outside; for this is not at all good for their souls." (RB 66.6) 6
  7. 7. 7 Monastero di Santa Maria delle Carceri Imagefromhttp://www.atesinoproloco.net/pro-loco-carceri/
  8. 8. The Common Good "If any products of the craftsmen are to be sold, care should be taken that those by whose hands the transaction takes place do not presume to practice any fraud. … In establishing their prices the evil of avarice must not creep in: instead, the goods should always be sold for a little less than those living in the world are able to charge, so that in everything God may be glorified." (RB 57.4,7-8)8 Image:OurLadyoftheRockMonastery,TheFarmathttp://olrmonastery.org/the-farm/
  9. 9. • Many continue to make food products. • (Sr. Teri makes jams and jellies, which are sometimes at the Reception Desk) • For cloistered monasteries, this is a source of income and a connection to meet people. 9 MonasteryGreetingswebsite:http://www.monasterygreetings.com/
  10. 10. Benedictine History 10
  11. 11. Early Benedictines "From early times, the Benedictines nurtured the land of Europe that had been wasted by Roman latifundism, a practice in which Roman businesses bought up estates and exploited them to exhaustion for maximum profit. The repair of damaged land is a job for a gardener, one who carefully nurtures the soil, often in a small area, until it comes to fertility again." 11 EarlyHorticultureofBenedictinesandCisterciansathttp://decodedpast.com/the-early- horticulture-of-benedictine-and-cistercian-monks/101
  12. 12. Monastic Gardens • Sacristan's garden produced flowers to decorate the altar. • This garden was intended to be a place of beauty that reminded viewers of the Garden of Eden, lost to humans. 12 EarlyHorticultureofBenedictinesandCisterciansathttp://decodedpast.com/the-early- horticulture-of-benedictine-and-cistercian-monks/101
  13. 13. Monastic Farms • Large orchards, especially in British Isles. • Monks were originally vegetarian, so no livestock were kept for food. • In Northern Europe, more need for meat in long winters. • Fish (carp) raised in special ponds within the monastery. 13 EarlyHorticultureofBenedictinesandCisterciansathttp://decodedpast.com/the-early- horticulture-of-benedictine-and-cistercian-monks/101Image:DuluthBenedictineswithrhubarb.
  14. 14. Monastic Brews • Monks did not reject alcohol and there were several monastic recipes for brews. • One which fell out of favour in England due to the Reformation was cyser. This was a hybrid between honey and apple juice, a cider-mead cross, and was a monastic favourite. • Another was braggot, which was made with grain and honey and was thus an ale- mead cross. Monks often brewed ale/beer, which was a monastic staple. 14 EarlyHorticultureofBenedictinesandCisterciansathttp://decodedpast.com/the-early- horticulture-of-benedictine-and-cistercian-monks/101.Image:AmpleforthAbbeyCideradvert.
  15. 15. Pope Francis and Laudato Si 15
  16. 16. Laudato Si – Brief Summary (1) 16 Laudato Si is Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment or more formally – On Care for Our Common Home. Laudato Si means “Praise be to you,” the 1st line of St. Francis'canticle that praises God with all of his creation. Pope Francis states the goal of the document: “In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (#3). Normally, papal documents are addressed to the Church bishops or the lay faithful. But, like John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris, Pope Francis address his message to all people. The goal of the dialogue: “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation that includes everyone, since the environment challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (#14). ImagefromPopeFrancisEnvironmentalEncyclicalat http://sacredspace102.blogspot.com/2015/06/pope-francis-environmental-encyclical.html
  17. 17. 17 “The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an ‘ecological conversion’, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience” (#217). No matter who you are or where you find yourself in relation to protecting the environment, Pope Francis has this message for you: “I invite all to embrace with open hearts this Encyclical which is in line with the Church’s social doctrine” (General Audience, June 17, 2015). Laudato Si – Brief Summary (2) ImagefromThePopeandEcologyathttp://www.ncipl.org/the-pope-and-ecology-shouts-from- the-highest-steeple/
  18. 18. Dialogue with the Environment Sister Edith Bogue Benedictine Oblates St. Scholastica Monastery Duluth, Minnesota 8 November 2015 18

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