Men, including monks, are not always famous for “clutter-free” environments, but we try to do so here, with some areas in the Monastery better at this than others. For us, the corridors within the cloister, connecting our various buildings, are an opportunity to promote ordered spaces, which hopefully fosters peace, freedom of movement, even joy, as well as the possibility to focus on where one is going and not being distracted by “junk” along the way.
Especially as a community composed of young monks and elders, we need to be careful to avoid stumbling going from one space to another. Throughout the day we go to church, refectory, chapter room, mail room, laundry, etc., and the corridors are the conduits for doing so. Their ordered simplicity keeps us on the right path.
Saint Benedict calls the Monastery a “House of God” (Domus Dei in Latin). Keeping that concept in mind should inform how we treat what we have.
We in the Northern Hemisphere are hopefully not too far from the arrival of Spring, a traditional time of “cleaning,” and an opportunity to think about what we might not need and pass on to others what could be useful to them, and superfluous to us. Thrift stores, Goodwill and the like, are such places that might gladly receive our goods. As the old saying goes: “One man’s scrap is another man’s gold.”
With this comes our greetings and prayers. We are grateful for yours as well.
Abbot Christian Leisy and the monks