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Monk in the World: Sabbath 1 – Reflection by Christine ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims,

During this Jubilee year of sabbatical we are revisiting our Monk Manifesto by moving slowly through the Monk in the World retreat materials together every Sunday. Each week will offer new reflections on the theme and every six weeks will introduce a new principle.

Principle 6: I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.

“The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.”
—Abraham Joshua Heschel,  The Sabbath

The work of the monk is important, but equally important are rhythms of rest and restoration.  Benedict’s Rule is exquisitely balanced. In a world which runs nonstop where we are always accessible, we have to make the choice to step out from under its tyranny of demands. Sabbath calls us to restore ourselves and remember that the world will go on without our labors. It is ultimately an act of humility which means to remember our earthiness. Sabbath gives honor to our gifts by also acknowledging our limitations.

Connected to the seasons of each day’s rise and fall, we are called to embrace times of fallowness, of doing nothing, of simply being. Sabbath offers us this gift and helps to cultivate a contemplative commitment in the world.

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Art © Kristin Noelle

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