Loving God 401, Part 5: A Silent Retreat with a Good Book – or – Top 10 Signs You Might Be a Benedictine (i.e., Apophatic-Speculatives)

St. Benedict, commissioned by St. Benedict Mission, Young, AZ

In this episode, we turn to the next of our spiritual “personality types” (i.e., attraits) – the apophatic-speculatives.

What defines an apophatic is a basic desire to escape distraction. They are the ones who love the very idea of a silent retreat or the spiritual practice of “simplicity.”

They are not anti-creation. Nor are they anti-social or anti- much of anything (other than clutter, noise and frenzy). But for them, it is easy to be over stimulated by the world and a quiet, cozy, peaceful environment is best.  They love minimalism.

And as speculatives, they also love the life of the mind and have a basic need for life, faith and the universe to make sense. (Want to drive a speculative crazy? Force them to watch someone fold a map incorrectly!) You will find them near books, lectures, museums and generally, more books.

Kirk’s photo of the Bay of Naples. Benedict’s monastery – Monte Cassino – is located in the hills above where this was taken. (Lest your vision of monastic life be one of dark caves and deprivation!)

The best type of prayer for a A-S is the ancient tradition of lectio divina (described in the podcast). And their patron saint is Benedict – the early 6th century monk who established the first formal monastic order (the Benedictines) with his composition of The Rule (of St. Benedict)

Apophatic-speculatives are heirs of a very deep spiritual tradition and have many resources available to them. If you are the kind of person who’d love nothing more than a simple cup of coffee, a silent retreat and a good book, you may well have found your attrait!



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