The Order of Peace

Tomorrow is the big day. I will take my final vows as a friar. I have been working with two friends in a nearby town in the formation of a religious order called The Brothers and Sisters of the Order of Peace. The Order of Peace is unique in a couple of respects. One is that the OP is an interfaith order. I have to say that this was a challenge to us as we were working on the Rule of Life and the Constitutions. We wanted to honor other faiths without blending them into some crazy mix that watered them down. Three of us will be taking our vows. The other brother is a Christian with a strong Hindu philosophy take to Christianity. A Christian-Hindu, I guess you could say. The sister that will be taking vows is a Hindu. All of us have been friends on the spiritual journey for years. What have attended each others worship gatherings, sat together in silent contemplation, and studied and debated sacred texts together each relating them to his or her own tradition. So we finally are at a place where we feel comfortable practicing deep ecumenicism without watering down our own traditions.
Another interesting aspect of the order is that we are not cloistered nor required to be celibate. We view the world as our monastery..and like the Dominicans or Franciscans we are friars who serve the world. So our members can be married, single, or celibate. Our Rule of Life challenges us to live lives of contemplative prayer and service. When we come together as a community, we will sit in silence as our worship. Isn't that really all that can be said about the Beloved anyway. I think it was John of the Cross who said..."God spoke one word throughout eternity, and this word he spoke in silence." So we sit in silence, and then can discuss spiritual practices that can help one on the path. We do not proselytize.
So tomorrow we do it. I am a bit nervous.


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