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The design of all humanity can be summed up in two words. Intentional Community. From Eden to this moment the call for each and every one of us is to pray and live in intentional community.

I spent 12 Wednesday afternoons this past fall exploring Benedictine Spirituality at the Sisters of St. John the Divine. An Anglican Benedictine community in Toronto. Via zoom of course. Sister Constance Joanna was our superb instructor and mentor.

We looked at what it means to be intentional about living this “little rule” of St. Benedict. How this rule has been the stability and driving force of Monasticism through the ages. Even today how living this rule in every aspect of Christian life offers individuals and society meaning and promise.

It is an extremely relevant understanding of the human condition and the love of God offered to all.

It was a valuable way to learn about seeing the Christ in everyone and finding expression each and every day for the Shema.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.”

(The following poem came from Karen's experience in this course)

Greater Love

John 15:13

“Greater love hath no person than this,that you lay down your life for another.”


Jesus was not born in a church

And that is where the problem lies

If we put up a steeple, stained all the glass, waxed and polished the candles, the brass

This child would be our special surprise

But Jesus was born in the world,

Filled with repression and poverty

He was in and of the world

I can hear him today as he cries

Misguided, not loved

We are told to believe

Our way is the way of life

And Jesus looks back at the many deceived

I can hear him today as he cries

Walking his way means humility, loss

A life bound in integrity

Nor does he care

If the Eucharist is there

Just care for humanity

Jesus can heal the blind and the deaf

Make the leper and lame ever free

He asked for our hand

To love all the land

And to listen today for his cries

                                                                                                       Karen Barney c/o HS December 14, 2020