Father Johannes on the consumption frenzy: “We eat ourselves to death”

What did you reply?

Quite provocative that every medicinal plant is a word of God. People can do something with herbal medicine because they can apply it practically. That’s what it’s ultimately about. Many who come to us at the monastery are initially skeptical. But after the second shot of liqueur at the latest, they thaw. So herbs help here too (laughs).

On the website kathisch.de I read that Benedictines wear a black habit because black stands for simplicity, humility and penance. Why are you only known in a white hoodie?

This is the typical ramblings on these sites. The black of the Benedictines comes from the Spanish court costume and was never a symbol of simplicity, humility and penance. The Benedictines used to wear a natural substance. I find white natural products useful because we produce food and have a therapy center. I can’t run around like a black man there. If I come across as a child psychotherapist, the children would be afraid of me. Saint Benedict said that clothing should be practical and cheap.

Christmas is the festival of giving. Are you getting the crisis with the collective buying frenzy?

Yes i get. Although I am not a conscientious objector. But it doesn’t make us stronger if we always want more. We have to change our lifestyle in order to strengthen our life force.

Sounds good, but how is that supposed to work?

The basic problem is that many have lost touch with themselves and with things. We have become a throwaway society because we no longer have a relationship with things. We throw everything away from things to relationships. We don’t think about the fact that someone has to produce, sell and ultimately dispose of them. Ultimately, it makes us sick.

A concrete example?

Many kitchen utensils are full of medicines that have expired and which no one knows exactly what they are for. Why is this happening? Because you let an unrelated doctor prescribe medication you don’t understand how it works. The kitchen boxes used to be full of herbs and everyone knew what they were good for. The kitchen box is a kind of metaphor for lost relationships and anonymous time. At the moment the immune system is mentally, emotionally and socially – please excuse the language – in the Oarsch. We eat ourselves to death, we consume ourselves to death and thus destroy our immune system.

I’m afraid that we still have to talk about Corona …

I am convinced that the corona virus wants to show us something.


That we have to change our lifestyle. Get into relationship again, don’t keep consuming more. I have nothing against Christmas cookies either, but if we cram too much into ourselves, it does not strengthen our vitality.

You only retired as prior last September. As a clergyman, do you get something as earthly as a pension shock?

To be honest, yes. I imagined it would be easier. Such a change in life never only happens externally, one grapples with the question of what will be left of one. In any case, I no longer live in the monastery, I’m looking for a new order, a new lifestyle.

By Editor

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