Limited in Time

Denise West, OSB Benedictine Reflections 20 Comments

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.” So begins Benedict’s brief chapter on the observation of Lent. We should always be preparing for the appearance of the risen Christ. We should always be seeking to rid ourselves of bad habits, practicing self-denial, realizing our faults and living each moment in gratitude for God’s abundant love that pours down on us just as we are.   Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure and to wash away in this …

Lectio Divina: Prayerful Reading of Scripture Part Two

Joanne Kollasch, OSB Benedictine Reflections 1 Comment

As we choose spiritual practices for Lent, we might consider the practice of lectio divina, the prayerful reading of Scripture. (See part 1) This slow reflective reading may be done alone or within a group. The method of lectio divina is often referred to as fourfold: lectio (reading the text), meditatio (reflecting and meditating on the text), oratio (praying from the text) and contemplatio (deep contemplation of the text). “Reading as it were, puts food whole into the mouth, meditation chews it and breaks it up, prayer extracts its flavor, contemplation is the sweetness itself which gladdens and refreshes.” (Guigo …

Living into Silence: Contemplative Practices for Lent

Holy Wisdom Monastery Leave a Comment

March 9, 16, 23, 30, 2022 Wednesdays, 6:30-7:15 pm via Zoom New to Lent or contemplative practices? All are welcome to learn the basics of spiritual practices in this virtual series. Together, let’s lean away from the stress of life, focus on your personal needs so you can be present to yourself and others, nurture your spirit and learn how to use silence. Cost: $25 for 4 session series.    

The Last Days

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Letters home, Living in Community 20 Comments

It’s early April 2017 and I am approaching the final stretch of my master’s degree in scripture at Saint John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, MN. I’ve immersed myself in New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew, taken theology and scripture classes, read volumes, written graduate level exegetical papers—all in preparation for this last semester of examinations. The next and last hurdle is my oral comprehensive exam, today, as I sit before a panel of professors who will probe my competence in the field of scripture and decide if I have demonstrated the level of proficiency required to have earned a …

Painting - The Call of Saint Matthew by Caravaggio

Chiaroscuro – light and dark in Lent

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Letters home, Living in Community 6 Comments

It was Ash Wednesday, and I had a long day ahead of me. Clutching my coffee cup, I slumped down into my seat for my 8am Prophetic Traditions class with Fr. Dale Launderville. We had already made our way through Joel, Amos, Micah and Ezekiel, and now we were knee-deep in the miry waters of Isaiah. The knotty book of soaring poetry and evocative prose was also filled with obscure history, politics and various strains of editors. Flipping to a clean page in my notebook, I braced myself for a morning of busy note-taking. But Fr. Dale began with an …

What are you reading for Lent?

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

In the Rule, Benedict writes: “during this time of Lent each one is to receive a book from the library, and is to read the whole of it straight through.” It continues to be our practice to choose a book to read during Lent. Sister Joanne and I share reflections on our Lenten reading below. Sister Joanne: Mary Gordon, the author, comes to Holy Wisdom Monastery when she travels to Madison.  On a recent visit she presented the sisters with an autographed copy of her latest book, Reading Jesus.  It was my choice for Lent; I gained new insights into …

Lent: Discovering Who We Are and Reorienting Our Lives

Joanne Kollasch, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Living in Community Leave a Comment

Our lives are filled with journeys, seeking to find out who we are and what our purpose is. Describing this inner journey is like describing a landscape. Imagine an expanse of land with great variety: valleys, hills, smooth plains and endless desert. Each of these places can serve as an image that helps us know the inner and outer terrain of our journey. Images also reveal how we feel about where we are. On a given day, in a moment of mindfulness, the many dimensions of our life are like a joyful mountaintop experience or a seemingly endless trek across …