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Becoming Encouragers

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The Benedictine Rule has no chapter on encouragement, but sprinkles advice throughout. Slides from an Oblate meeting in January 2018 at St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, MN.

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Becoming Encouragers

  1. 1. Becoming Encouragers Sister Edith Bogue Duluth Benedictine Oblates 14 Januarty 2018
  2. 2. Encouragement: Whence and How?
  3. 3. Barnabas – “Son of Encouragement”
  4. 4. • 1 The action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. • 1.1 Persuasion to do or to continue something. • 1.2 The act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief. encouragement
  5. 5. Encourage: Early 15c., from Old French encoragier "make strong, hearten," from en- "make, put in" + corage "courage, heart"encouragement
  6. 6. How often do we write about encouragement or discouragement in books? Books published between 1700 and 2008
  7. 7. Saint Paul •41 instances of “encourage” in the New Testament, many in Acts and in 2 Corinthians. •Three types •Encouragement of the Scriptures •God’s action in the present – in Paul’s life and those of the disciples •Mutual encouragement
  8. 8. Parakaleo parakaleo •1) to call to one' s side, call for, summon •2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc. •2a) to admonish, exhort •2b) to beg, entreat, beseech •2c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort •2c1) to receive consolation, be comforted •2d) to encourage, strengthen •2e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging •2f) to instruct, teach
  9. 9. Saint Benedict •Word “cohortor” used twice •Com (with) + hortor (animate, advise, exhort, etc.)
  10. 10. Saint Benedict •8th Step of Humility (Chapter 7) “what is encouraged by the common rule of the monastery or the example of the superiors.”
  11. 11. Saint Benedict •Ch 22, How the Monks are to Sleep •Upon arising for the Work of God they should quietly encourage one another, on account of the excuses which the sleepy tend to make.
  12. 12. Discouragement
  13. 13. Discouarge: Mid-15c., discoragen, from Middle French descourager, from Old French descoragier, from des- "away" + corage “courage, heart”encouragement
  14. 14. Saint Benedict •Ch 27 – Care for Excommunicated •And thus he should in every way act as a wise physician, sending senpectae, that is older and wise brothers, 3 who can, as it were in secret, console the wavering brother and convince him to make humble satisfaction, thus comforting him, lest he be devoured by excessive sorrow (2 Cor 2:7); 4 rather, as the apostle also says, Let love towards him be intensified (2 Cor 2:8) and let all pray for him
  15. 15. Learning the Practice of Encouragement
  16. 16. •As did Benedict, learn, know and remind yourself of God’s promises and actions in Holy Scripture. •Think also of the lives of saints •Be ready to “come along side” of a person who seems disheartened or sad or uncertain. •Tell the truth of God’s presence, love and power – not unfounded assurance of their own capabilities.
  17. 17. •Become discerning of your own heart. When did you experience the surge of hope and confidence? What had someone said or done? •Become discerning of the hearts of others. Notice when they seem to take heart, or when they wilt. What had someone said or done? •See environments that encourage: beauty, music, quiet, nature.
  18. 18. •Take the idea of encouragement to your prayer life. •Ask God to encourage you – to come along side and give the gifts and the hope that you need for whatever God is calling you to do or be. •Ask God to show you how to be an encourager to others. To notice when they are in need. To show you the word they need to hear. •Give thanks.
  19. 19. For February •Listen/watch for encouragement in Scripture: the Gospel message. •Take note of times when you have the experience of being encouraged. •Look for opportunities to give a little encouragement. Try. What happens? •Take note of times when you see or experience discouragement. •Pray for the gift of encouragement for yourself and others.
  20. 20. Becoming Encouragers Sister Edith Bogue Duluth Benedictine Oblates 14 Januarty 2018