I am a son of the deep south in the USA, unaccountably married to a soul-mate from Germany. My religious background is best characterized as eclectic (if not downright discombobulated). I have at various times been Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Presbyterian. In college, I was lured away from fundamentalism by reading C. S. Lewis, and in seminary, emancipated by studying Tillich. Though it sounds very cerebral, it really was all about how I should live my life. When I discovered Benedictine monasticism, I believe I found the way that fits with my peculiar makeup. As I have experienced it, Benedictine spirituality is not about right belief, but right practice. When people ask what "kind" of Christian I am, I now call myself a Benedictine.
For much of my life I have been longing to know God. And for much of my psychological career (30 years teaching so far), I have been fascinated by how and why people are moral. I now see these two things coming together as I read about the spirituality of the ancient monastic fathers and mothers in the deserts of Egypt (and Palestine, Syria, and Turkey). It is to these "abbas and ammas" that Benedict looked as he wrote his rule. Now I can see the love of learning and the desire for God coming together in my life as I learn about the ways of these ancient monastics (and their more modern descendants and relatives) and incorporate their wisdom into my personal searching. As I write here at cloisterseminars.org and do workshops and retreats, I invite you along on this journey. There is much we can learn from each other.