Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from April 24, 2022

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Most of our sisters and brothers in the Eastern Churches celebrate Easter today.  Let us be mindful of them, many of whom suffer spiritual turmoil along with physical deprivations and separation from loved ones. Our faith depends on the testimony of the first believers, Mary Magdalene, the other women, then Peter, James, and John, and others. In our passage today we hear the Gospel writer’s attempt to mark the transition from the last to see, to the rest of us. Attempts to squelch or squash or re-direct that testimony as we see in our first reading from the Acts of …

This Most Holy Season: Passover, Easter, and Ramadan 2022

Holy Wisdom Monastery Living in Community 2 Comments

By Mary Chiang, guest of the sisters Every year, Jewish, Christians, and Muslims celebrate their holidays and feasts. But this year, the three Abrahamic religions celebrate their most holy tradition, in tandem. This only happens every 33 years. Each religion celebrates and remembers the very events which define their unique religious identity. The Jewish Passover (April 15- 23) recalls God’s deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt; Lent and Easter (March 2-April 17) revisits the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as Messiah, Savior of the world; and Ramadan (April 2-May 1) the month on the Islamic calendar …

A Desert in the Woods 

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Reflections 9 Comments

By David McKee opening  the Opus Dei  in this  bardo  intimate  as ever  was  Five days alone in the hermitage—no phone, no internet, no reading, no writing, no music—only the Liturgy of the Hours, many hours of wordless prayer, walking, eating, sleeping and silence—suspending all the usual outer distractions of daily life in order to face all the inner ones—all the things that drop a veil between myself and God—all the false selves for which I have so many names, and the desire to let go of all those names and disappear into the true self that is hidden in …

Good Friday

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Reflections 2 Comments

By Roberta Felker, Sunday Assembly, Board of Directors In 1373, reputedly around Good Friday, an Englishwoman lay stricken by what appeared to be a fatal illness, possibly related to the Black Death that had recently returned to Norwich. As it was, she did not die. Her birth name is unknown, but the name she assumed is familiar to us: Julian of Norwich, one of the greatest of the English mystics. In her fevered haze, Julian experienced the first of a series of visions that she recorded in a book entitled, Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love[1]. The Eighth Revelation is the heart of …

Rex Piercy’s Homily from Holy Thursday, April 14, 2022

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I’m not exactly sure why this night requires a homily because tonight is not so much about “words” as it is about “signs.” In some ways the whole service is a sign. Our readings point us in this way. Exodus spoke about the blood on the doorposts being a “sign” of God’s passing over and sparing the enslaved Hebrews from the wrath descending on the land of Egypt. In Paul’s simple words to the Corinthians we have the earliest reference in the New Testament to what we now call the “Eucharist” or “Holy Communion” and learn that bread and cup …

Beauty during Lent 

Lynne Smith, OSB Benedictine Reflections 3 Comments

The monastery’s theme for 2022 is beauty. Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote in The Brothers Karamozov: “The world will be saved by beauty.” The first image that came to me as I pondered this was that of Vedran Smajlovic playing Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor in the bombed streets of Sarajevo in 1992. He played each day for 22 days to mark the death of the 22 people killed standing in line for bread during the siege of the city. Hear the story from BBC news.    Beauty can keep the human heart and spirit alive in the midst of suffering. The PBS …

Steve Zwettler’s Homily from Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022

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The Cross:  A Way of Transformation Palm Sunday:  2022 By:  Steve Zwettler Each year —when the rains come—and winter reluctantly gives way to Springtime—we hear the same Mysterious and Life-giving Story.  We know it so well.  We come face to face with the brutal and bloody death of Jesus by Roman Crucifixion.  A moment in History which continues to challenge and amaze, inspire and intrigue all who take the time to look deeply. So……..What Does It Matter?  What does it mean for us Believers & Seekers right here and now?                 On a personal level……speaking just for my own spiritual …

Pushing My Buttons

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Reflections 12 Comments

By Leora Weitzman Putting a pebble in your shoe can still be found under Ten Simple Penance Ideas for Lent at CatholicLiving.net. By now, most pebbles have probably gone metaphorical. Still, what if your shoes are already too full of metaphorical pebbles to add any more? Maybe some pebbles already in our shoes can become our offerings. In my case, pebbles of anxiety and sadness about current events are becoming a focus to sit with more consciously in prayer—which means fasting from at least some efforts to numb those feelings. And as for almsgiving… Do you interact regularly with someone …

Patti LaCross’s Homily from April 3, 2022

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The1982 German film The White Rose is set in the early 1940’s; it covers the final five days in the shining life of 21-year-old Sophia Magdalena Scholl, and her brother, Hans. Raised in a spirited Lutheran family; their father had earlier been detained for denouncing the Nazis. Hans was a popular leader in the Hitler Youth. After a stint of national service, he entered medical school at the University in Munich, and Sophie joined him. Their shared friends circle- all immersed in philosophy and theology- were outraged by the mass murders in Poland and Russia, and hearing of the rounding …

April phenology

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology 1 Comment

By Sylvia Marek Phenology is a science focused on observing and recording biological events from year to year and their relationships to the change of seasons and climate. These are the “normal” phenology events we expect to see here and in the Madison area this month. We would love to hear about what you are seeing on the grounds of Holy Wisdom Monastery. Please comment on this post with what you are observing, where at Holy Wisdom and the date you observed the event. No month ends or begins overnight. Events can be a few weeks early or late. “For …