Living our intention

Lynne Smith, OSBLiving in Community, Sunday Assembly Leave a Comment

“Ceremony focuses attention so that attention becomes intention. If you stand together and profess a thing before your community, it holds you accountable.” Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass, p. 249. On July 15, 2018, we celebrated the first profession of Denise West as a sister at Holy Wisdom Monastery during the Eucharist on Sunday morning. Denise has been with us about three years, and this is the next step in making a commitment to community life with the sisters at Holy Wisdom. Benedictines are good at ceremony; we call it liturgy or ritual. In the profession ritual, Denise stood before …

Serving others, being served

Lynne Smith, OSBLiving in Community 2 Comments

A couple weeks ago when we had snow on a Sunday morning, I got up early to plow the driveways at home. The snow blower on the tractor wasn’t working properly so it took longer than usual. I saw the problem, but couldn’t fix it myself especially in single digit temperatures in the dark of pre-dawn. I made a mental note to contact Paul, our groundskeeper, to see if he could fix the trouble on Monday so it would be ready for the next snow. Later that morning at the monastery, before Sunday Assembly, someone told me of a friend …

Hamilton on Broadway - photo from New York Times post

Who tells your story?

Rosy Kandathil, OSBLetters home, Living in Community 2 Comments

As we headed back to Saint John’s University for the fall semester, two of my liturgy friends introduced me to their latest musical obsession. With the soundtrack from the Broadway musical Hamilton, playing from the car speakers, we geeked out over favorite lines, the brilliance of a particular rhyme and musical theme, the poignancy of each plot twist. Winner of 11 Tony awards (including best musical), a Pulitzer and a Grammy, the smash bio-epic about Alexander Hamilton and his fellow founding fathers is an acknowledged masterwork of storytelling, history, music and drama. Powered by a stunningly diverse cast, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, …

Sister Joanne speaking to an oblate gathering

A call to justice: Benedictine perspectives on listening, right relationships and public witness

Joanne Kollasch, OSBBenedictine Bridge, Building Community, Living in Community, Spirituality Articles Leave a Comment

The Oblate retreat, February 19-21, 2016, brought together 66 Oblates of Holy Wisdom, women and men from near and far, to learn from the sisters about the ways justice is expressed in Benedictine life through listening, right relationships and public witness. The following reflections come from a presentation given by Joanne Kollasch, OSB, on February 19, 2016 (pictured above). Today if you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart. —Prologue, Rule of Benedict There are many ways to hear God’s voice if we are silent and listening, if we are able to “welcome one another with the courtesy of love.” …

Sisters and sojourners share conversation over breakfast preparations

Community living

Lynne Smith, OSBBuilding Community, Living in Community 3 Comments

On Mondays in Bingen House, where I live with Rosy and the sojourners, Denise and Paz, we have developed something of a tradition we call “Monday Breakfasts.” Monday is our day of renewal for activities that refresh us body, soul and spirit. We have leisure time in the morning to make a big breakfast which usually turns into brunch. You might recognize this tradition in your house on a Saturday or Sunday. Sojourners Denise (far left) and Paz (far right) and Sisters Rosy (middle, left) and Lynne (middle, right) preparing breakfast together. This past Monday we stood around the kitchen …

Seeing with Delight

Trish StefanikA Benedictine Sojourner's View, Living in Community, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

It’s July, full heat bearing down. I am dizzied by the lightness of being, buzzing and blossoming in the prairie. If you haven’t read it already do enjoy Greg Armstrong’s marvelously descriptive ode to the flora on the monastery grounds this time of year (Nature Notes Summer 2013). It seems a day does not pass that I am not exclaiming to whoever is in earshot, Wow – unbelievable! How can such lush beauty be so conspicuous where just three short months ago dead stalks covered acres of barren field? My way to Morning Prayer through the prairie now is quite …

Celebrating the Feast of Scholastica

Lynne Smith, OSBLiving in Community, Monastic Life, Prayer & Worship, Spirituality Articles Leave a Comment

Today we celebrate the Feast of Scholastica, said to have lived from 480 to 543, the twin sister of Benedict. She is a patron of Benedictines throughout the world. Scholastica led a form of consecrated life with a group of Christian women, following the spirit of the Rule of Benedict. We know of her life only from legend and from a brief story in the Dialogues of Gregory the Great. Gregory tells us that she traveled each year to meet her brother at a small house midway between their residences. On one occasion, after a day filled with deep and …