The Monastery of the Bees in their Hive

September 5, 2015 | Reflections from some of the nuns

The Artist And The Monk

Sophia (Wisdom of God) seems to be at play here at the Abbey; she is gently opening our consciousness to our bees. Bees are a macro organism of bio engineering wonder and social complexity all functioning as a living organism. They carry the imprint of Sophia’s wisdom.

When I sit quietly in my garden I often see one or two bees gathering from the flowers. These adventurous foragers with their own inbuilt sat navs are on a mission, focused with single hearted attention, like the monks in their single pointed search for God. Stay quiet and keep watching, lectio the imprint of God’s wisdom. What do you hear? What do you see? What rises in your heart in response?

Have you ever listened to a hive? Sit quietly outside the hive and listen to the hum of the bees when it changes tone. It goes up in pitch when there is a threat. In the winter if you knock on the hive there is a rustling sound which says, yes the bees are alive and surviving the cold. Bees communicating a new location will pipe their message in lyrical tones of possibilities. Perhaps I could sound possibilities that inspire and encourage other hearts?

There are guard bees at the entrance. Do I guard what comes and goes from my heart, from my lips?

Foraging bees fly in carrying the pollen and nectar. No concept of ‘just me’ and mine, is there? The honey made, feeds all the bees.

Some bees stay outside the hive seemingly chatting. They speak in ways I don’t understand.

Bees know where the pollen lies in the fields; they taste it before they get there. ‘Taste and see the goodness’ (Ps. 33:9) of the promise that we can be. Would I dare believe the world could be healthy and whole? Image a healed earth?

They all work together in order to survive. What common goals do I share with others?

A newly hatched baby bee stands at the entrance looking out of the hive toward her destiny. What changes in her in that maiden flight? Would I be game to test these spiritual wings of mine? Let go and trust the air and sun and the spirit? Trust too that I know my way home?

Other bees stay at the entrance fanning their wings. The breeze they generate cools the hive on a hot day. I feel the gift of refreshment.

The invisible dynamism of our whole agricultural and natural ecology is this bee matrix in front of me. They remind me of the invisible matrix of prayer that flows from the Abbey, small utterances of our hearts that reach eternity, food for our souls and communing with our divine being together, in humming praise and piping intercessions.
It makes me wonder what is imprinted in my being by Sophia. What intention of design is there in our hearts waiting for the sunshine and the flowers? Do I have to wait any longer?

The more I realize the wisdom of Sophia in me the more comfortable I am in just being who I am.

Acceptance brings peace.

Bee Hive Painting

Sr Veronica Chandler osb