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timothykinney's avatar

What is an example of the mundane being regarded as sacred in a Christian tradition?

Asked by timothykinney (2743points) February 21st, 2010

I’m particularly interested in the daily rituals of monastic traditions. An example of what I am interested in would be similar to Dogen Zenji’s Instruction to the Kitchen Master ( a treatise to the head chef of a monastic community to use the cooking of food as a path to spiritual experience. However, this is a Buddhist reference and I am primarily seeking Christian references.

I think there may be some interesting writings, anecdotes, or daily rituals that Benedictine, Trappist, or other monks followed that fit this lifestyle.

Any links or book citations you have are especially helpful.

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13 Answers

candide's avatar

Christian traditional monastic communities did not have head chefs – there were brothers appointed to certain tasks for certain periods of time according to the discretion of the abbot, like laundry, cellarer, cook, etc. Benedictine orders would be the place to go for what you are looking for – try also “The Rule of the Master”
Dominicans and Benedictines also observed how work, contemplation and prayer would lead to spiritual enlightenment, and their mystic traditions can be close to those of Bhuddism, so you could look at their monastic rules as well.

timothykinney's avatar

@SeventhSense Great link, thank you.

nicobanks's avatar

I don’t have a link or citation, but rather an angle you might want to consider: the history of monks and wine-making. This is what I thought of, anyway, when I read your thing about Instructions to the Kitchen Master.

Buttonstc's avatar

There is an interesting classic book written by Brother Lawrence which is similar in content to the one you cited by the Buddhist. He was a monk in the RCC but I’m not sure in which order.

The title is: “The Practice of the Presence of God”

barbiedoll's avatar

water that is blessed

Buttonstc's avatar

There is an interesting site here which has a section for one to print out a copy of the book free for personal use.

If you have either an iPhone or iPod touch, there is also a free app which has this included in it as well as two other books along with the KJV version of the Bible. Just put CCEL into the app store search bar.

Or you can go to their site where it is available as an MP 3. The site also has numerous other classic writings many of which are free. The letters stand for: Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

Fyrius's avatar

Eating wafers and drinking wine come to mind.

davidbetterman's avatar

Have you checked out the Trappist Monks of Kentucky? They make their own bourbon, too…. and Bourbon Fudge.

anartist's avatar

Dom Perignon. “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”

Aster's avatar

Years ago some Episcopalians at my old church decided to do the “blessing of the pets.” A lot of people brought their dogs and cats to a parking lot and the priest put his hand on each pet’s forehead after saying a prayer. HE appeared to question it; I think he shrugged his shoulders. Sweet I guess.

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