20 May 2013

Campus Dei 2


Campus-dei is the Latin phrase for the level place often the literal level field for gathering to hear of God. It's the field for spiritual formation and practice. It’s literally God’s field where one gathers and practices religious and/or spiritual acts and living in fellowship and community. The campus-dei is the sacred center for cultivating spiritual vitality and renewal.
In 1997 I attended a Benedictine Retreat in New Harmony, IN, sponsored by the Canterbury Cathedral Trust of America. I learned about St. Romuald and the Camaldolese hermits there. The leader was Robert Hale, o.s.b. cam. a monk and a hermit, from New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur, CA. I’d never met a hermit.
I’ve been Google-searching the history of St. Romuald and Camaldolese Benedictine monastics. The most famous of the monasteries he founded was the Moastero di Camaldoli in Tuscany, Italy. Here Romuald founded the Order of the Camaldolese Benedictines uniting a monastic and hermitic life.[1] So this literally means the monastery was founded on land, a field, owned and given by a man named Count Maldoli. The proper name Camaldolese is formed with the latin “campus” and proper name “Maldoli.” Campo-Maldoli. In everyday Tuscan language Ca’ maldoli, for Casa Maldoli. Cam-maldo-lese; Camaldolese; those on Count Maldoli’s field. Here is literal incarnation of field of God, the campus dei.
Yes it happened in the 10th & 11th centuries in Italy. Yes it happened in Poland and Hungary, Yes it happened in Big Sur, CA, Bloomington, OH, and Windsor, NY in America. Yes it can happen, now, today, in our hearts and minds as we live into being.



[1] http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1419

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