Revealing and Concealing
11/September/2008 Filed in: Jottings
We were taken to task recently for our use of the internet. Our critic thought that contemplative nuns should not have anything to do with what he clearly thought of as an instrument of Satan (this despite the fact that he seems to spend a lot of time surfing religious sites on the web and is himself a religious). It may seem paradoxical, but I think our use of the internet (web site, blog and forum) is actually a help in maintaining the seclusion important to a life of prayer. Many people are interested in monastic life, and having a web site, for example, enables people from all over the world to "drop in" on us without having to turn up at the front door. There are not many sites that link to us, so the fact that we have cybervisitors from America to Japan is a testimony to the power of search engines and the persistence of enquirers. So far the response of other Benedictine monasteries to our appeal for moderators for the Benedictine Forum has been disappointing and in marked contrast to the enthusiasm shown by oblates and associates. I wonder whether this ambivalence towards the internet is at the heart of things. Perhaps the knowledge that the pope has made an appearance on Xt3.com may provide a salutary jolt. Following the example of the Roman church was something Benedict was rather keen on liturgically. Might it not hold good in other areas as well?