Getting older gracefully

by Bro. Boniface
(Muensterschwarzach Abbey, Germany)

waiting for the next call

waiting for the next call

I have a hunch that you, dear reader, will agree with me that from one generation to the next people change. So there is no surprise that my generation born just before WWII may have a difficult time to understand the present generation. I hear they are called the media generation. At least that is so in Germany where I now live.

Whereas those who grew up with me were concerned mostly about surviving the dreadful war, then the shortages and period of hunger the young people of today are more carefree and take the good life generations before them created and worked for as normal and for granted.

Many of us grew up in more frugal circumstances, families were often larger and many a good man died in one of the many wars of the time period. This is especially true for Americans whose sons and now also daughters have fought in many places the world over.

I am getting used to it that young people, even those who enter a monastery today, look at me as an older guy who is not expected anymore to fit into today's media generation. If you do not flip TV channels like crazy, like more comfort in daily living and do not use at least one handy to wait for the next call or message it feels like the tsunami of electronic gadgets is passing you over.

And yet the better things in life are the more quiet and proven things. They are feeling at home in my soul, with loved ones, if some are still around, having time for a chat with the Lord and old friends and neighbors, reading good books and tending the roses.

And peace! What about inner peace, quiet and reflection? Prayer is quiet and we say God only speaks when our mind and heart are still. I wish you that you can enjoy a few moments of quiet each day.

Reflecting on life is important and helps on our journey of the soul.

Comments for Getting older gracefully

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Jan 07, 2013
Slow-down during Sabbatical time
by: Bro. Boniface

It is so very interesting that I am getting this kind comment to a post I wrote much earlier just now. Because Muensterschwarzach Abbey in Frankonia, Germany is having a centennial the abbot has encouraged all of us to SLOW DOWN.

Let me explain first the centennial. The abbey
was taken over by the State at the time of secularization in 1803. From then on it ceased to exist for over 100 years. Gone but not forgotten.

In 1912 monks on their search for more room and a new location came back to the place and negotiated with the then owners to buy the property back. This was done in 1913, thus the Centennial 2013.

Many of us monks feel like the abbot does on this and have embraced the idea of a sabbatical time in preparation for the big event. We will slow down on Wednesdays at least, but also on other times. We will quit working at our jobs no later than 3:00 p.m. on that day, devote the time for our own quiet time, study, reading or walking, whatever does not involve work.

The idea comes from the Jewish Sabbath, which a Rabbi explained to us at the outset of this time, January 2nd.

Now we are committed and even though, some of us older monks are a bit reluctant we join in the community effort which will be for the good of all of us.

You see people elsewhere also feel the same need for slowing down the electronic onslaught in our lives. We become fragmented using the many and varied electronic gadgets which try to erode our personality and life.

Jan 05, 2013
The Whole World is in a hurry
by: Liz

It seems sad to me that the world these days is programmed on "Hurry". We see those racing up and down the freeways and interstates at probably around 90 miles an hour and we wonder what is the emergency and the answer is there is none.

Even when friends go for a casual and friendly lunch together, it's hurry get a table, hurry get the waitress over here and we don't have time to sit back and enjoy our coffee and just chat awhile.

Sad to say, it seems to me the world is missing part of the joy of living by just not taking the time to enjoy the greatest gifts that we have, a sunny day, a beautiful cloud formation or to just listen to the wind in the trees.

Apr 30, 2012
Fast paced
by: Sue

I agree that the world has gotten to fast paced and computerized.

When growing up in the 50s, our thrill was going to the creek to picnic and swim, or lay in the grass and imagine what clouds looked like. At night we would lay in the same grass and look at the stars. We had some great conversations in that grass. Not only my siblings and me, but also my parents. Great family bonding. We would take long slow walks(not run) and always a friendly smile and greeting to all we met.

Now days people don't even have family time at the dinner table. They definitely don't lay in the grass and star gaze. People don't walk--they drive 90 miles an hour or go at a run everywhere they go. People need to slow down and enjoy family and life because once you have missed out on it you can't get it back.


Apr 29, 2012
"good article"
by: Arthur C. Ford,Sr.,poet

yours in words,

Apr 28, 2012
God listens
by: Boniface

I am not sure this is working as I would like it. My answer to the lover of quiet is that the only one who really listens is God. And so much of the time people are busy overhearing him. They are too busy making noise.

If a person wants quiet this person has to go inside to the well and rest there.


Apr 27, 2012
Yes, Oh Yes
by: A Lover of Quiet

Thank you for your lovely treatise on peace and quiet and communing with the Great Mystery, whoever yours may be.

Q: have you noticed these days, that all the TV commentators, pundits, etc., speak extremely rapidly? There is no slowing down just rat-a-tat-tat and more rat-a-tat-tat. There is no time to reflect, not by the audience and not by the speaker him/herself.

It is too sad. There can be no understanding, deep understanding between peoples and nations with all trying to outdo one another in speaking, and no one, none, is LISTENING.

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