Question: One of the most fascinating points arising from these conversations is various Brothers’ memories of how a particular turn of phrase or word came to be used. What stands out to you from your experience of those conversations?
Br. James Koester: Sometimes, I can hear the distinctive voices of Brothers—some still with us, some who have moved on—in a particular chapter. And sometimes that’s comforting and sometimes it’s a little frustrating because I (and on occasion we) sensed at the time that this or that wasn’t quite right. I don’t think we could have written it any other way, but I’ll also be glad when certain words and phrases are “disarmed” or deleted. Having said that, I can hear my voice quite clearly in the chapters on the novitiate (36, 37), because I was a novice when those conversations were taking place! And to the community’s credit, we novices were invited to be full participants.