Welcome to Holy Listening

Two-week summer programme    :    SUMMER 2018
Contact information    :    Dom David Foster    :    programmi@anselmianum.com Scholarships are available    :    please see the Application Form

The monastic tradition understands faith as a journey we make in companionship with others. Accompaniment is an important way in which we help each other find our way forwards in faith, hope and love. It can include spiritual direction and counselling, it can take place formally in one-to-one dialogue, in informal but regular meetings, on an individual basis or in groups, in the context of retreats and conferences. It is about sharing insights, listening to questions, seeking wisdom for the journey.

This programme is intended for people who are interested in spiritual direction, counselling and similar roles, in a faith context. It provides practical instruction and guidance not only for monastics, but for anyone who wants to learn them. It is open to men and women of all Christian traditions and to anyone who wants to learn to journey sympathetically with others on that path of faith.

What is specifically Benedictine about it? The Rule itself speaks of a journey towards the Kingdom that we make together under the direction of Jesus, who shows us the path, and gives us the Gospel as our guide. In St Benedict’s mind, monastic men and women are born into their vocation by an experience of spiritual parenting by the Abbot or Abbess, an experience that becomes characteristic of the order of the community where the elders are all seen as ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’ who are able to generate the fellowship of the community in the love of Jesus Christ.

From this experience flow four elements that characterise a Benedictine understanding of spiritual accompaniment: the search for God in response to a divine initiative (search for God); mediated in human relationships of everyday life (community); attentive to the word of God speaking in the Bible (lectio divina) and persevering in prayer (prayer and liturgy). It acknowledges the presence of God in everything, in everyday routines, work and encounters, especially with the weak and with strangers. It is a strong element in the service monastic communities offer the wider world.