For Benedictines, the love of learning and the desire for God walk arm in arm, urging us to venture deeper and wider in exploring inner and outer worlds. The study of theology is certainly part of this inseparable pair, but as the mystic Meister Eckhart says, all creation “is a book about God.” And so, all learning, all science, all honest questions are simply our human effort to understand this God-drenched universe. The love of learning sometimes leads us to the farthest edges of the universe, but it doesn’t have to be lofty or academic. It can be learning to bake bread or play a new fiddle tune; it can be listening to an untold story from the past—tragic, funny, mysterious—that a friend is eager to tell. As a wonderful added benefit, learning something new is a great way to avoid sinking into boredom and dejection, even in these difficult times, as we greet life like curious children, for whom the world is new every day.
By Mara Faulkner, OSB