The way we answer doors

Lynne Smith, OSB Hospitality, Living in Community, Monastic Life 2 Comments

The way we answer doors is the way we deal with the world.  ~ Wisdom from the Tradition, Conference of Benedictine Prioresses How else can we bring a divided world together except by providing the open hearth where all feel warm and safe enough to speak their truths and listen from their hearts.  ~ An Extravagant Love, Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB These reflections on Benedictine hospitality are found in Wisdom from the Tradition, written by the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses. Insights into the wisdom to be found within the Benedictine tradition were gathered from Benedictine women’s communities throughout the US …

Following a confirmed city girl as she looks for God in a monastery

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

The following is an excerpt from a blog written by Sarah Noceda, one of our 2011 Volunteers in Community, about her experiences and insights during her time with us here at Holy Wisdom Monastery this summer.  The title she chose for her blog, The Pulse of Beauty – A Confirmed City Girl looks for God in a Monastery, reflects the refreshing, open spirit she has brought to this experience.  We are grateful to Sarah for allowing us to share parts of her posts as a way others might gain a small taste of her experience. Sarah will continue to add …

Scripture in the Rule of Benedict and Benedictine Tradition

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

One of the things that resonated with me when I began exploring community life at Holy Wisdom Monastery was the focus on Scripture that is so much a part of Benedictine life. The Rule of Benedict includes more than 300 quotations or allusions to Scripture — so many that some have described the Rule as the fruit of Benedict’s lectio on Scripture. Communally, we pray all the Psalms over a five-week period at the Liturgy of the Hours and read through the Bible at least once every two years. In addition to what we read in communal prayer, we also …

The Art and Practice of Lectio Divina

Mary Lynn Adams Benedictine Bridge, Living in Community, Prayer & Worship, Spirituality Articles Leave a Comment

Lectio divina is an ancient way of praying the scriptures. It is more than just reading the Bible; it is reading scripture in a way that takes in the words, seeks out the meaning, responds to the message and rests in the fullness of the Word. Lectio divina is an integral part of the prayer life of Benedictines, along with Liturgy of the Hours, Centering Prayer and Sunday Eucharist. Lectio can be done privately or in a group. When done as personal prayer, it involves four actions. First, we actually read the scripture passage, taking in the words. We read slowly, often out loud. …

Cultivating a reserve of hope

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

Recent posts have included selections from our current midday readings from Hope in the Midst of Darkness, a collection of writings put together by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  Yet another of these readings that really spoke to me is written by Christine Vladimiroff, OSB from Erie, PA. She begins with the following quotes: Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. – Christopher Reeve Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12 Sister Christine goes on to say: In our time, much of what made the world feel so secure …

Finding hope in the midst of darkness

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 6 Comments

Where do you find hope in the midst of darkness? Do you find hope in lived experiences, stories told within your family or faith community, in the words of scripture, in secular writings? We are currently reading selections from a book titled Hope in the Midst of Darkness.  Each selection is written by a different sister from among the many communities and congregations which are members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious which produced this book.  I would like to share from a piece written by Lorelle Elcock, OP, from Ossining, New York. Sister Lorelle chose to tell the …

Wisdom from the Rule of Benedict

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Monastic Life, Rule of Benedict, Spirituality Articles Leave a Comment

One of my greatest joys is in sharing the richness of the Rule of Benedict.  Along with the Gospels, the Rule holds the foundational wisdom that forms every Benedictine community.  The wisdom of Benedict has also been embraced by spiritual seekers throughout the world for its fundamental clarity and insights. Periodically we welcome women to our Exploring Benedictine life retreats, an opportunity to immerse themselves in our Benedictine way.  What follows is some of the wisdom of the Rule I share with them. Sister Joan Chittister, author of Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, Living the Rule of Benedict Today, once shared this …

What is your image of a monastery?

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

In honor of women who are gathering at Holy Wisdom Monastery next week for an Ever Wonder? retreat (or those who may still be thinking of testing the waters of this community), I would like to share this personal reflection written by Mary Lynn Adams, associate member of our community: What is your image of a monastery?  An ancient building, with thick, stone walls?  Monks covered in rough dark cowls, noiselessly passing along the edges of corridors?  Solemn prayers?  Stark living conditions?  Being cut off from family, friends and community? Well, take that image, and set it to one side. …

Come Holy Spirit

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Prayer & Worship Leave a Comment

This Sunday we, along with Christians throughout the world, will celebrate Pentecost: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:1-4) This, in fulfillment of Jesus’s promise recorded in the Gospel of John (14:16): “And I will ask Abba God, who will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever.” The images and power of …

Green Twigs of Hope

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

Our Midday Prayer at Holy Wisdom Monastery always includes a Gospel reading and a non-scripture reading.  Currently we are reading from Hope in the Midst of Darkness, a publication of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.   A reading this week, written by Marcia Allen, CSJ from Concordia, KS, is entitled God’s Horizon. It begins with these quotes: “Everything is possible for one who believes, still more for one who hopes, even more for one who loves.”          – Brother Lawrence “Set me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is …