Conversion is one of the central commitments which Benedictine monks make.  The other two are obedience and stability which have to do with listening deeply for God's voice in the world and committing to staying put even in the midst of conflict or struggle.

Conversion for me means to always allow myself to be surprised by God.  It invites me to a sense of wonder and awe and recognizing that God's imagination is far wider than my own.
One of my favorite lines from Benedict's Rule is "always we begin again" and he describes the Rule as for "beginners."  This beginner's mind and heart is central to conversion.  As monks in the world we are always on the path, always growing, we never fully arrive and so we always have more to learn.

Consider writing the words "always we begin again" somewhere you can see them regularly as a reminder to be gentle with yourself on the spiritual path.  These last seven days of the e-course have been an invitation to respond to the call of being a monk in the world.  It is not something we simply become and arrive fully.  It means daily practice of contemplative ways of being.  It means being committed to the process of discovery and transformation for a lifetime.
Reflection Questions:
Are there areas of your life which could benefit from an infusion of wonder and awe?
What does it mean for you to commit to always being on the path of growth?
God of surprises,
infuse me with your wild wonder,
sustain me in the daily practice
of opening my heart to grace.
Expand my imagination to see
more widely than before,
open my heart to experience
compassion beyond my dreams,
call me to begin again and again.

Abbey of the Arts

Transformative living through contemplative & expressive arts


 "Translations vary, but in our modern day, conversatio morum suorum generally means conversion of manners, a continuing and unsparing assessment and reassessment of one's self and what is most important and valuable in life.  In essence, the individual must continually ask: What is worth living for in this place at this time?  And having asked, one must then seek to act in accordance with the answer discerned."

Blessings to you,

Christine Valters Paintner
(206) 329-3110



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