Clearing space

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 2 Comments

This fall, coworkers Greg Armstrong, Cortez Mitchell and Amy Alstad, and many volunteers have been clearing the underbrush from several areas on the property. They have opened up the space under a couple of stands of trees on the west side of Lost Lake. Another clearing was opened up along the gravel road to the hermitage. Most of the underbrush in the meadow of young oaks opposite the apple orchard on the hill was mown early this fall. Many volunteers worked for several months to clear out the non-native trees and brush from the kettle on the northeast side of …

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‘Advent & The O Antiphons,’ The Holy Wisdom Podcast

Brooke Moriarty Living in Community, Podcast, Prayer & Worship 3 Comments

Want to be the first to hear every new episode? Click here to sign up for email notifications! December summons feelings of tradition and familiarity for many of us. In some faiths, this includes the preparation for Christmas known as Advent, and the singing of the O Antiphons. In this episode, we have Sister Lynne Smith and Holy Wisdom Monastery’s own Director of Worship and Music, Lynn Lemberger. Join us to learn about these traditions and how we might be able to honor their meanings in our own lives. Where to Listen? You can listen to The Holy Wisdom Podcast at any …

Confessions of a racist nun* #3 spiritual tools

Denise West, OSB Living in Community, Racist nun 2 Comments

In my first blog post in this series, I diagnosed myself with the disease of racism. Some of my symptoms of this disease are denial of and defensiveness around racism as well as obliviousness to painful experiences of Black folks and other people of color. Simply put, most times we can’t handle listening to reality, so we don’t. We make the topic off-limits and go on enjoying the fruits of hundreds of years of systemic racism that has led us to a life of racial comfort. The problem is, despite our good intentions and stated values of justice for all, …

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‘Becoming Ecumenical: Bringing Christians Together,’ The Holy Wisdom Podcast

Brooke Moriarty Community of Benedict, Living in Community, Monastic Life, Podcast 1 Comment

Ecumenism is defined as “the principle or aim of promoting unity among the world’s Christian Churches.” Led by this strive for unity, Holy Wisdom Monastery has long been welcoming people of a variety of denominations and religions. Therefore, it made sense to sit down for a deeper look with the women who have led us here. Thus, this first episode of The Holy Wisdom Podcast features Sister Mary David Walgenbach and Sister Joanne Kollasch. They begin by sharing their early memories of meeting people from other denominations. Then, they regale some of the early stories that led to the monastery …

Making meaning of suffering

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

“There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky The above quote comes from a Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Occasional Paper by Ted Dunn entitled: “The Role of Meaning-Making in Transitional Times.”  The sisters have been reading and discussing this in our daily morning meeting. The quote caused all of us to stop and consider what Dostoevsky might have meant by being “worthy of one’s sufferings.” In the article, Dunn relies on the work of Victor Frankl who was in a concertation camp during World War II. Dunn writes: …

Reflections of a racist nun #2

Denise West, OSB Living in Community, Racist nun 3 Comments

This past Sunday David McKee gave a wonderfully Benedictine homily on the well-known passage from Matthew 16. All the quotations in this reflection are from his homily of August 30. 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”  David says that Jesus “then follows up by turning the disciples’ view inward, to the deeper truth of his ministry and his life. He explains to them what it really …

wilderness heals

The power of presence in the wilderness

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

During my staycation I read The Wisdom of Wilderness, by Gerald May. I highly recommend it. Gerald May was a psychiatrist and a senior fellow in contemplative theology and psychology at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland. He wrote many books and articles blending spirituality and psychology. He writes of his experiences camping solo in the wilderness of the Allegheny mountains.  He says he was called into wilderness and guided by a Presence that he names “The Power of the Slowing.” He equates this Presence and its guidance with Wisdom. I was captured by his experience and …

Reflections of a racist nun*

Denise West, OSB Living in Community, Racist nun, Uncategorized 14 Comments

Did the title catch your attention? I hope so, because it is intentional. I wonder what the world would be like if every morning thousands of white people took a page from 12-step programs and greeted one another with, “Hello. My name is _______, and I am racist.” I was recently diagnosed with the disease of racism. The strange thing is that I made the diagnosis myself, which is really the only way you can know if you have it. The metaphor of racism as a disease (as opposed to racism as individual actions carried out consciously by bad white …