The Community of Divine Love was founded in 2010 as a religious community drawn to the monastic way of life by our desire for love of God and prople. Our quest to know love, our care and intercession for those around us, the desire to bring meaning and hope to people, and our passion to help build a world of justice and peace flow from this desire. We are committed to the contemplative way of life and dedicated to works of justice and spiritual care and friendship with the poorest and most marginalized among us. We strive to see God in all things and in all people. We hope to be instruments of peace and serve as an icon that might draw others into a closer union with the Divine.
We are grounded in traditional monastic practice, yet with a steady finger on the 21st Century pulse. The Community is inspired by the classic pattern of Benedictine spirituality, maintaining a life anchored in the daily living of Prayer and Work, on the vows of Stability, Conversion of Life and Obedience; and the disciplines of Poverty and Celibacy. Our contemplative stream of life in community is in balance with our work of justice and mercy in the world, especially with those in prison. While the Episcopal monastic experience remains at our center, we welcome people from all directions of life in the spirit of the Universal Christ. We are also increasingly aware of the value of welcoming all into the interspiriatual experience, where the God of ove awaits us all.
How we define community is changing in these current times. Some may enter residence with a clear idea about their monastic vocation in the long term. Others may need to step into our life for some weeks, months, or even years without such a permanent vocational call. We welcome you to join our rhythm of life. We consider all who make-up the fabric of our community, including those in residence (professed or not), our oblates (those living our Rule of Life and yet not in residence), and our Divine Companions (those living our Rule while living in prison) as equal members of our community. We are blessed with this diversity of souls desiring the heart of God.
WHAT CDL MEANS TO ME
Delia Hitz - Third from left.
The Community of Divine Love truly embodies the Benedictine monastic ideal of welcome. This small community has porous boundaries and a heart that beats with compassion and inclusion. Like a well-regulated cell membrane, they admit entry to all those who wish to participate in its life-giving functions, while faithfully sustaining the prayer life and practices that contribute to the well-being of the larger body. I am a single person with a full life, active in my own church congregation, yet CDL has welcomed me like family. When I asked Sister Greta in 2019 if I could start a flower garden in their back property, she did not hesitate to say yes. She and Dennis and Mitch and their friends came out with shovels and smiles to dig out the lawn for our beds and plant seeds. Over the next three years we produced armloads of flowers for church altars, the CDL chapel, friends, and customers. They gave me access to the soil, sun, and water where they lived, but the essence of what they freely gave was love, the nutrient that powers all life
This love is not some amorphous thing but can be seen and measured in the spiritual formation occurring throughout the friendships of the community. The monastic offices, the Centering Prayer group, Taize services, as well as the Sacred Journey group offering a safe space to read about and discuss racial justice issues – these are some of the tangible services that CDL extends to its wider community, in addition to its core mission of jail and prison ministry! The love generated by all this work and dedication ripples out and back in feedback loops that have built something real and lasting: a spiritual infrastructure that changes and sustains the lives of many.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to take a moment to tell you what The Community of Divine Love has meant to me. Before I became a member of CDL, I had no family or friends, and at that time I had been in prison for 13 years here in Florida. I never got any mail and I was at a point in my life where I wanted to give God my all and be a part of a Spiritual Community. I had sent out 10 letters to Community's of God and out of those 10, only the Community of Divine Love wrote back and has welcomed me as a part of the community. I am happy to say I have a family now. and I feel blessed. Thank you so much, Brother Dennis, and my family of the Community of Divine Love.
Brother Carl Kevin Bowen
CDL in my life has been literally GOD SENT; With their encouraging and informational newsletter, a Daily Reader for the month included, and the Correspondences always appear at the perfect time; when I am feeling lonely, forgotten, down or indifferent; brining me comfort, encouragement, and a smile to my face. I know that I am more connected with my inner spirit; God and Divine Will thanks to my relationship with the Community of Divine Love. I can't imagine being the person I am today in the mindset and in my relationship with GOD without CDL Thank you all so much; I can't wait until I'm released and to be part of such an incredible Community. Know I'm still using the Force of Love from the Source of Life to Change the world one smile at a time.