Health, Well-Being and Monastic Life: Conversio

Last October, at the end of a big two-year project, I took inventory was dismayed every part of my situation: health, energy, weight, fitness, work-life balance, spiritual well-being, community life, friendships – even my belief that I could change it.  Koyaanisqatsi described it well:

ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

Life of St Benedict, Scene 25: Benedict Tells ...
Benedict Tells Two Monks What They Have Eaten (Wikipedia)

The monastic life is, of course, the other way of living to which I have been called; our Benedictine vow of conversio is one of fidelity (and constant re-commitment) to that way of life. St. Benedict offered encouraged me with the last of his tools of good works “Never lose hope in God’s mercy.”  I started with small changes.

This little tracker has been at the foot of Monastic Musings for months as I tried several tools to improve my health – a measurable dimension – as a start.  I chose May 1 (a Feast of St Joseph) as a target for at least regaining my pre-project well-being. Today, I’m celebrating as my little runner reaches her first milestone.

Created by MyFitnessPal – Free Nutrition Tracker

Over these months, my appreciation for our monastic way of life has grown – again! Health and well-being are promoted, but not only for the benefit of the individual monastic. “Even your body is not your own,” St Benedict says to the person about to  make final profession. Our well-being (physical, spiritual, psychological, and in community) is turned over to God.

St Benedict tells us, too, that this journey is lifelong — and I certainly have quite a ways to go.  I hope to write about some of the tools – technical, spiritual, psychological – that are helping me along the way.

One comment

  1. Congratulations on 1. identifying the problem and 2. doing something about it. I always figure, give it to God and do what I can with, as my pastor would say, intentionality. Keep up the good work!

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