August 18 – Conversation about Silence

Our August Conversation Group theme unites potentially paradoxical realities of monastic life. This month we are sharing our thoughts and experiences of open affective interpersonal relationship in a setting where “Our deepest communion with each other is realized in our communion of silence”(CG 71). We are all invited to share our experiences of formation that prepared us for a “communion in silence” as an expression of deepest communion with the brothers. We have the opportunity to share suggestions for enhancing our communion of silence and other ways to express communion and foster interpersonal relationships.

Additional questions give us the opportunity to speculate on what a greater openness would look like personally, communally, and to outside observers. A final opportunity for reflection and sharing explores permissions, encouragements, and tools for establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships in monastic life.

Conversation Groups (CG)

The purpose of the CGs is to provide a forum where the brothers “come together to listen to the Spirit speaking through one another,” to foster skills of good communication that will promote mutual understanding and trust (Gdlns 2), and to provide the superior with the data he needs for taking decisions with foresight and fairness by the brothers humbly and honestly expressing their views (RB 3)