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

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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. 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. …

Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from May 6, 2018

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In my formative years of the 1950s and 60s I was acutely aware of the in-groups and out-groups that defined and described who I was. Adults around me made much of their ethnic roots and their religious roots and their socio-economic roots and their political roots. I suspect this is true for many people gathered here today. My in-group advanced in the world in a competitive sort of way. For instance, it was understood that the land-owning class of people in my hometowns of Racine and Kenosha tended to be White Anglo Saxon Protestant (or WASP). It could be further …

Colleen Hartung’s Homliy from April 29, 2018

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An evangelist, a eunuch and the unbounded love of God. Homily, April 29, 2018 Colleen D. Hartung   I know most of us do not read the bulletin – at least not all the way to the end – but if you did you would know that every week, on the back page there is a list of ministers for the next week’s liturgy.  Skimming that list last Sunday, I knew that it would be foolishness to ignore today’s first reading from the Book of Acts and – at least in this instance – I am not a foolish woman.  …

New books in the library—May 2018

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Enrich your mind and spirit—visit the monastery library! May 2018 For many of us, May signals the start of our outdoor activities—mowing, raking, gardening and barbeques. And if I didn’t have your attention after barbeques, how about graduation parties to attend, Mother’s Day to celebrate, and Memorial Day weekend to savor as the kick-off to summer.   As part of your celebration of the month of May, come to the monastery and participate in one of the Wisdom Prairie workdays, stroll the nature trails, or visit the library and browse through its many resources.   We hope to see you …

Joseph Wiesenfarth’s Homily for April 22, 2018

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Wiesenfarth Joseph Homily:  22 April 2018 Acts 4:5-12; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18   Of the many years of my life, I’ve lived all but one in cities:  New York, Washington, Detroit, London, Paris, Freiburg, and Madison.  Consequently, I am the last person imaginable to talk knowingly to you today about shepherds and sheep.  All that I know about both, in spite of a few weeks in New Zealand where sheep outnumber people, I leaned from Thomas Hardy’s excellent novel Far From the Madding Crowd (1874).  Moreover, I think that novels that feature donkeys prove more interesting than those that …