As we gather at the Monastery tables for meals, it is a time of sharing with Community members and sometimes guests. We share stories, varied experiences, and the day’s events. There is love, support, and time out of one’s busy schedule to be together. All of this builds Community which is an important Benedictine charism. I’ve been enriched by our guests. Recently some of us had brunch with a pre-med student at our College. Spring quarter she volunteered at a clinic in Senegal, Africa. As she shared her experiences, I was aware of what a caring spirit she has. She will be a wonderful doctor wherever she goes! Within the past month some of us shared a meal with two siblings from Tibet as well as with their parents who were visiting. We learned much about this small, beautiful mountainous country.
Other guests we have shared meals with are students from Kenya, China, Italy, South America, etc. Meals are not just for bodily sustenance. They renew us, broaden our horizons and make us realize that all peoples of the earth want understanding, caring, basic needs met, a future full of hope, peace, love, and an ability to serve. These young people have given me hope. We need to hear more about such amazing students and those who have taken other paths. Food for the body, mind, and spirit truly sustains and enlivens! Maybe this is why Jesus chose bread, wine, and a meal to give us his very self, in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Sister Jeanne Ann Weber
Sister Jeanne Ann Weber is Director of Liturgy. She has experience as a teacher, advocate for women and children, giving retreats and spiritual direction. She is a member of the Shalom Spiritual Direction Training Program at the Monastery.