Sheila Pritchard recently featured on her blog a link to an excellent series of interviews with Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch all of the interviews on line, but I’ve dipped into them and been very moved. There’s something very special about these old monks. I’m thinking here too of Thomas Keating, and Basil Pennington before he died.
Sheila writes (and what follows is her post in its entirety):
“…Brother David is a living saint. He is one of the people I most admire. I was privileged to meet him at a Spiritual Directors' conference a couple of years ago. The Gratefulness website he instigated is well worth a regular visit. Recently it gave a link to a series of videos where Brother David talks about his 85 years of life. It is an oral autobiography - something I have never encountered before - but what [a] treat. He recalls life in Austria during the Second World War, poverty; hunger and the death of loved ones. He recounts his peak (mystical) experiences from a very early age; how he came to enter a Benedictine monastery; his surprise at being encouraged to do training in Zen; his gradual calling out to be a speaker and world traveller even though he was supremely happy in the silence of the monastery... and so much more. The videos are beautifully presented with an excellent interviewer guiding the four one-hour sessions. I was struck by Brother David's joy and humor - and his excellent memory! I know four hours is a long stretch but if you can make the time it will be well worth the effort. The most direct link to the videos is here.”