Follow by Email

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Talbot's pearls of wisdom

Saturday's lecture/performance by John Michael Talbot, attended by about 250 people in our main chapel, was like a mini retreat. He and I, and I presume most Maryknollers, are on the same spiritual wavelength although he's light years ahead in musical ability, creativity and fame!

Among some of the insights he shared was to reverence sacred space as much as sacred sounds. That is, the space between notes and words are often as important as the music and lyrics themselves. Talbot maintains the Spirit moves in such spaces. As the incarnate Logos, Jesus communicated God's truth even when he wasn't saying or doing anything, he said.

His community, the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, founded by him and his wife Viola, is part of the so-called "new monasticism" that is spreading around the globe. While mostly Christian, these intentional communities are marked by their openness and inclusivity. Their spirituality, based on the rule of St. Benedict, allows for different expressions at different phases of life. Thus, single people participate more fully in the community's life, married people continue their outside work while providing for their families, "empty nesters" have yet another level of involvement, and widows and widowers a more contemplative approach.

They are also inclusive in their prayer forms, chanting the divine office twice a day but also having time for spontaneous prayer and meditation. And they are very respective of other prayer forms from other faith traditions.

They allow men and women to join for a time, fully aware a lifelong commitment to religious life is not for everyone. One interesting comment he made was about a community of monks in Europe who would not allow lay people to join their ranks. It eventually died off; the lay people formed a separate group which is thriving. (File this under "If the Shoe Fits" category.)

Talbot shies away from theological disputes and controversy, preferring to emphasize the common spiritual quest most people are on and with which most of his listeners can resonate.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if JMT also composed a song for our 100th much like the Mass Michael Joncas has nearly completed for us?

No comments:

Post a Comment