a priest's musings on the journey

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sister Joan Chittester "It's time to hunt the words."

From Where I Stand- is the monthly column of Joan Chittester, OSB, published on National Catholic Reporter Conversation Cafe Some of you are for sure monthly readers of her column. Those of you who aren't, or who may not know here, check out her March column below: "It's time to hunt the words."

There's an old monastic quatrain that fascinates me. It reads:

I and Pangur Ban my cat,
T'is a like task we are at.
Hunting mice is his delight.
Hunting words I sit all night.

What intrigues me about the little rhyme is that it was written around the year 800 by a monk who lived on Skellig Michael. I'm not surprised that he wrote it; I'm surprised by its implications -- for both then and now.

You see, Skellig Michael, a pyramid of needle-pointed rock totally unredeemed by beaches or fields at its base, juts out of the Atlantic Ocean 714 feet above the sea that froths at its jagged edges. It stands bare and forbidding, not a piece of flat land on it till you get to a ledge below the summit. Up there, a group of sixth century Celtic monks began what historians say was the first monastic settlement in Europe.

(the rest is here.

You can learn more about Sister Joan and read more of her articles at beliefnet.com.

Sister Joan is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, and she is the founder of BenetVision.
:: posted by Padre Rob+, 10:52 AM


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