I thought football was about running, catching the ball, trying not to be tackled, and making a touchdown. However, as I was walking in the back of the Monastery, I noticed the guys from the team were hopping on one foot and then the other, squatting, running backwards, jumping, crawling, running and not in slow motion! The one word that came to my mind was discipline. That is not a favorite word of mine because it usually means hard work, self-control, etc.—things I don’t particularly like. Yet discipline may also mean instruct, prepare, educate. These words I can relate to. I do have trouble relating to the antonym of discipline which is chaos. Although I do have mixed feelings about football, I was happy when one of the players told me that they are winning many games. Their discipline is paying off! I also thought of the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. He writes about the different spiritual disciplines such as prayer, study, simplicity, solitude, outreach, hospitality, worship, etc. that can help us grow toward inner transformation in Christ and freedom from self-centeredness and fear. These practices invite God’s presence and God’s purpose in a deeper way. By developing disciplines, we can rejoice and celebrate that we are indeed experiencing new life and becoming clearer images of God and our true selves.
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.