Episode 2: The riches of interreligious dialogue (26 min.)
Sr. Coff talks with Tom Fox about the treasures she has gained from studying and dialoging with other religions: From the Hindus, she said she learned about radical hospitality, welcoming the divine in the other. From the Buddhists, compassion. From Muslims, fidelity to prayer and surrender to divine. From Daoists, be content with what you have. "If we would follow even half of the wisdom that comes from other traditions, from our own tradition," what a world this would be Coff says.
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The riches of interreligious dialogue
When the histories of the earliest East–West religious dialogues get written, with origins dating back close to a half century in the Catholic church, names like Thomas Merton, Bede Griffiths, Anthony de Mello, Raimon Panikkar will be listed with their contributions discussed. Another name certain to be on that list is Pascaline Coff, a Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration and a co-founder of the Osage Monastery in Sand Springs, Okla. Coff combines a traditional Catholic devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with a Benedictine monastic sense of hospitality, seeing Christ in every stranger she meets. With these foundational pillars of spirituality, she also has a rare and brilliant openness to the Spirit in all the world's religions traditions. She lived in India for a year at Bede Griffiths' ashram and since then has participated in many hospitality exchanges between Christian and Tibetan Monastics in Asia and the United States.
Read part of Sr. Coff's story in the Sept. 21 issue of NCR: Religious exploration, wisdom and truth.
For more information
To see up to date retreat schedules and contact information for Osage Monastery, visit the Web site benedictinesisters.org.