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“Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.”  Matthew 13:34

Using parables to teach life lessons has been a long and ancient tradition.  We find it in Greek and Roman story telling, ancient Jewish writings, in the teachings of Jesus, in Rabbinical stories, and in Eastern Zen Buddhist tales, just to name a few.  Many contemplative teachers have used parables over the years to teach lessons that are both essential and difficult to grasp.  The gifts of parables are many.  For one, they shift us just enough out of our usual frame of reference that we are able to see ourselves through a new lens.  Second, though related to the first, parables are simply stories and can thus be disarming.  They put us into a different state of mind, and in doing so, have the ability to sneak under our well placed defenses in order to get a necessary point across.  Third, parables, like all metaphors, can teach lessons at multiple levels, and invite new discoveries with each re-reading.

Over the past seven half years of leading this Order and teaching contemplative spirituality, I have been asked questions that I could only illustrate through parables.  As our Order has grown and had to deal with the natural growing pains of any intentional community, parables have come to mind that have most poignantly illustrated the growing edges of individuals and the community that need to be addressed at times.

At this year’s Convocation, we reflected on a series of parables that I had put together over the years which fostered some wonderful conversation and growth.  As the primary mission of our Order has always been to offer resources for the renewal of contemplative formation in the greater Church, I’m happy to be able to share these parables here.  Whether you are in formation on your own, in a community, or just part of a parish, each of these may speak to you in your own life journey, wherever that may be.  God’s Peace.

Silentio Coram Deo,

Br. Kenneth

October 2019
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RSS The Order’s Alleluia Garden

  • Goliath Grow Beds: The end is in sight!
    Well, whadya know?  The grow beds are built and up and running!  Just like the bottom tanks, the grow beds are constructed from 2x4s and 4x4s.  The insides are lined with pond liners, and the central tube for the bell syphons are 2″ pvc.  The input pipe into the grow bed is 3/4″ pvc with valves attached so […]
  • “It’s a jungle in there!” or “Orchids Adorning Aquaponics”
    I know I said we’d have an update on Br. Addison’s work, but as he’s swamped with end of term homework and finals, we’ll wait another week for him to resurface from school so he can tell us all about some of the new plants he’s tracked down. In the meantime, thanks to our own […]
  • Construction Junction: monks with power tools
    So back to the aquaponics… With a consistent scale, the new and accurate plans for the system look like this: As you can see, the unit fits into the corner with two grow beds running along either wall, and the water tanks creating the triangular shape underneath.  The tank is divided into two sections for […]