Monasteries of the Heart

Profile: Ron (oblate Andrew), of Benedictine Spirituality & Addiction Recovery MOH

1. What would you say was the key reason that led you to offer an online monastery?
Self-help groups like A.A. and Smart Recovery do not include spirituality in their programs. I met a few people who wanted to discuss the role of God in their recovery. MOH is the quickest, easiest, broadest way for us to get together.

2. What has been the biggest surprise in the experience for you?
At the start I was afraid that many people would see only drugs and alcohol and not respond. And I'm not one of those. But at least half of the group express problems with eating and over-the-counter prescriptions.

3. How far-flung is your monastery geographically?
I don't know. No one has mentioned where they live.

4. What would you say is the biggest gift of an online monastery?
Availability. We choose the time and place we seek counsel and know that we can find it somewhere on MOH.

5. What is the biggest challenge?
Not knowing my readers. What subjects interest them? Are my pieces too long, too short, too deep, too shallow? Do I repeat myself? What does the group want to read? And not receiving as much feedback and comments that I had hoped.

6. What would you say is unique about your monastery?
Using a 1500-year-old book of instructions for monks to deal with addictions today--addictions that they never heard of.

7. What would you suggest that others reflect on as they consider leading an online monastery?
Be sure you want to do it. Be sure to stay with it. Be sure you will never know the ripples you set in motion.

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