16 July 2012

A Refuge Silent Enough to Hear God’s Whisper

A Refuge Silent Enough to Hear God’s Whisper, by Samuel G. Freedman (New York Times, 13 July 2012)

Saint John the Evangelist is not on a mountaintop, not in a desert sanctuary, not in a medieval stone village, but in that bastion of secular modernity known as Cambridge, Mass., home to both Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The monastery’s austere complex of guesthouse, church and chapel sits down the street from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the storied redoubt of policy wonks, past, present and future.

Precisely, perhaps, because of its geography, the Saint John monastery has fallen into a kind of specialty, that of tending to the souls of people like Mr. Fleming — ambitious and intellectual, enmeshed in the material world, yet craving some way of detaching long enough from the cosmopolitan cacophony to hear the whisper of God.

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