A summer walk on the prairie

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 4 Comments

At our recent staff retreat day, I went out for a walk in the prairie. Over the past two years we have been redesigning some of the trails on the property to follow the contours and interest points of the land. On Tuesday, I decided to follow a new trail that begins north of the orchard on the top of the hill. I crossed the gravel road and entered the path through an opening between two evergreen trees that leads into a meadow. The old path wrapped around the outside of the meadow. But this new path takes the walker …

Patti La Cross’ Homily from June 10, 2018

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The first line of today’s Genesis tract has provided the bass line for my musings the past few weeks as I’ve listened to and dove into these readings: “They heard the sound of God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze.”   I believe I’ve heard that sound; and I suspect you may have also. That breath-slowing, acute awareness that we are in the presence of Life’s very source. This phrase in Genesis evokes a deep intimacy with God with humans. Creation quivers in those moments when we know God…when we are filled with such awe, …

June phenology

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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. I have kept monthly phenology records for many years and the following are from my June …

Leora Weitzman’s homily from June 3, 2018

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Body and Blood of Christ • Ex 24:3-8, Heb 9:11-15, Mk 14:12-16, 22-26 • 6/3/18 You are not alone. That, I think, is the deepest meaning of today’s feast. You are not alone.  You are held in the safety of the strongest possible bond with God and with one another.  God has skin in the game, and God has your back.  And we are meant to be the same way with one another. In ancient times, covenants were serious business.  If two of you were making a covenant, you each cut your arm and dripped blood into a cup.  You …

David McKee’s Homily from Holy Trinity Sunday, May 27, 2018

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FEAST OF THE HOLY TRINITY May 27, 2018 Isaiah 6:1-8; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17   As humans, we live in a symbolic world.  The culture that we carry within us and transmit across the generations is composed of many things, but most importantly, it is composed of symbols, encapsulated in language, visual images, music, dance, recipes, TV shows, computer games…the list is very long.  The social world we create and inhabit, and that creates and inhabits each of us through our encounters and interactions with one another, is for the most part symbolic. It is a world mostly composed of …

New books in the library—June 2018

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Enrich your mind and spirit—visit the monastery library! June 2018 Summer is here! If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to dig out the sunscreen, flip flops, swimsuits and lounge chairs and head to the beach.   Not a beach person? Don’t like sand between your toes? Then, how about a walk through acres of restored native prairie or along the banks of a 10,000-year-old glacial lake? Does a home-cooked, nutritious meal and good conversation in a comfortable setting sound appealing?   Why not plan a personal retreat at the monastery, where you can find numerous books to stimulate …

Jerry Folk’s Homily from Pentecost, May 20, 2018

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Pentecost May 20, 2018 Holy Wisdom Monastery   Pentecost is no doubt the least well known and understood of the Church’s three great feast days. But it’s a very important festival, especially in our time, when so many people are far more drawn to a living spirituality than to institutional religion. It is, after all, as Jesus tells us in John 6, “the Spirit who gives life.” So, for a few minutes this morning I would like us to explore together the meaning and mystery of Pentecost. Today’s reading from Acts is the classic Pentecost story. There are two scenes …

prairie smoke at Holy Wisdom Monastery

May 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 two Mays are the same. Events can be a few weeks earlier or later than …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from Ascension Sunday, May 13, 2018

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Ascension Sunday – Acts 1:1-11; Eph. 4:1-13; Mk 16:15-20 May 13, 2018 Lynne Smith, OSB I find Ascension Sunday hard to get my head around. It is clear we can’t take the accounts of the ascension literally. The early Christian writers believed in a three-tiered universe. God was in heaven above; the people were in the middle on earth, and Satan was in the underworld below. We believe in an ever evolving universe fueled by and filled with divine energy. There are Christians who express their belief in Jesus by casting out demons or handling snakes. We lay hands on …

Guests bring a blessing

Lynne Smith, OSB Hospitality, Living in Community Leave a Comment

  The sisters at Holy Wisdom have received a lot of guests recently. We greet the groups who come to use our space for their meetings and retreats. We get to know personal retreatants over meals in the community dining room. When I first came to the monastery, as an introvert, I found it taxing to have new people with us at every meal. Now I look forward to meeting them. Saint Benedict says that a monastery is never without guests. Indeed, we wouldn’t really be a Benedictine monastery without guests. We are called to provide hospitality and serve others. …