Reflections at Conception Abbey

This was the year I decided to register for the Benedictine Spirituality Course as a lifelong learner. I was given the required reading list, syllabus and instructions for living at the Abbey for a week. I had sufficient information and preparation, but still wasn’t ready for the transformation it would have on my life. The first reality was not having a TV or radio in my room. I decided not to take my computer and there is no public WIFI at the Abbey. All I had was my smart phone and the Abbey’s Library computers. As the week progressed, I learned to love the silence and the times for contemplation and reflection.

Our daily schedule included 4-5 prayer times with the Monks, 2 class periods and a group reflection time in the evening. As we progressed through the week, we learned how to use the Lectionary Book for the Divine Office or daily prayer times. We learned and practiced Lectio Divina, which is reading, listening and meditating on the Word of God and letting it touch your heart. We learned the Rule of St. Benedict and were taught about the Abbey and the Catholic faith from 3 different Monks and the Abbot

Living in a community where humility, obedience, silence, and welcoming everyone as though they are Christ are practiced begins to have a profound effect on you. You move at a slower pace and realize that everything you do is for the glory of God. The first word a Monk speaks each day is in unison at Vigils, “Open my mouth, Lord, to proclaim your praise.” This is a good practice for everyone.

Deborah Skeel
Central Life-Long Learner