Her comments spoke to me of our ministry at Holy Wisdom Monastery as holding sacred space.
Spaciousness and leisure are important in our lives to allow room for the deeper meaning of our experiences to surface. Monasteries fulfill an essential service to society by providing this space.
Monastic space, both indoors and out, is shaped by the values of silence, solitude, beauty, use of natural materials, hospitality, reverence for all people and respect for creation. You may or may not meet one of the sisters or coworkers when you visit the monastery. The values we live, however, will touch you through the sacred space we maintain both on the land and in the buildings. The silence and solitude that we nurture allows room for the holy, which is always present, to become manifest in our midst.
In some respects, the monastery grounds are much like the grounds of Governor Nelson State Park across the road. They both include prairie, woodlands and hills, and both are located near a body of water. But in an important and palpable way, the monastery grounds are profoundly different. The grounds here are a place of leisure and reflection in which we can encounter the holy and discover a deep part of ourselves.
We can experience this same type of space in the Assembly Room. The chairs are set in the round. The open space in the middle with the table set for the Eucharist speaks of Christ at the center of the Assembly. The space invites us. The openness of the room and the welcome spirit of the people speak of the hospitality of God. As we worship facing each other, we come to see the Christ in one another.
The open space of the Oratory and the silence included in our daily prayers also open the way for an encounter with the holy.
Many visitors have stories of how they have been touched by the holy at the monastery. We would like to hear your story. Please send me a few sentences about your experience or give me a call. With your permission, we will share those stories with our readers.