Joseph Wiesenfarth’s Homily from Epiphany, January 8, 2017

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Joseph Wiesenfarth Epiphany:  8 January 2017 Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12   There are two kinds of epiphany:  one beginning with a capital letter and one beginning with a small letter.  The one beginning with the capital E is what we are celebrating today.  Dictionaries tell us it is “A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.”  In Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language of 1755 we get the additional information of the “commemoration of our Saviour’s [birth] being manifested to the world, by the …

4 sisters gathered around deep dish pizza

Milestones

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Letters home, Living in Community 13 Comments

I was turning 40. There was no avoiding it, but for the weeks leading up to my birthday I tried not to indulge a creeping sense of dread. Although I could laugh over the prospect of having to check the “40 and over” survey box, I also felt anxious about crossing a threshold into middle age. There is something about milestones that force reflection, self-assessment, and in my case—mild depression. What had I accomplished with my life? I would be turning 40 at a monastery, with nothing to my name. All the accomplishments of a legal career built during my …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from Christmas Day, December 25, 2016

Lynne Smith, OSB Homilies 2 Comments

Christmas Day – 2016                                                                     Lynne Smith, OSB In September this year, a husband and wife and their five children boarded a bus in a refugee camp in Tanzania to be taken to a plane where they would be flown to their new home in another country. The husband had lived in the refugee camp since he was eleven. The family didn’t know where they were going. When Joel Makeci Ebuela got off the plane, he asked, “Where am I?” He and his family, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, had arrived in the Missoula, Montana to start their new …

Celebrating Advent, Christmas and Epiphany at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Holy Wisdom Monastery Prayer & Worship, Spirituality Articles 0 Comments

(Selections from the Liturgy of the Hours used by Benedictine Women of Madison, Holy Wisdom Monastery, Middleton, WI) Anticipating Christmas with the O Antiphons During the last week before Christmas, we begin the daily singing of the   O Antiphons, an ancient practice that embraces the sense of longing and anticipation for Christmas which swells with each day.  These antiphons are sung prior to the Magnificat, the Song of Mary from Luke 1:46-55, in our evening prayers throughout this week.  Each antiphon begins by addressing God with a name that expresses God’s loving design for people of all times and places.  Each …

New books in the library—January 2017

Nancy Sandleback Library 0 Comments

Enrich your mind and spirit—visit the monastery library and discover our new books! January 2017 The presents are unwrapped and perhaps returned or broken already. Store managers are stocking the shelves with Valentine candy and the tree is losing copious amounts of pine needles as it is being escorted to the curb for pickup. Is the holiday really over? Is it time to pack it away with the glass ornaments and hopelessly tangled tree lights? No! The spirit of Christmas—the spirit of giving—has no time limits. It’s a way of thinking, of living, that we can take with us every …

Great love and great suffering

Lynne Smith, OSB Building Community, Living in Community, Spirituality Articles 8 Comments

The people of east Aleppo have been in my prayers and on my mind this fall as they undergo the siege of their city. They are especially on my heart because a couple of years ago, a husband and wife and their triplet sons worshipped with us at Sunday Assembly for some months after they had fled Aleppo. In one conversation I had with Nael, he said, “Pray for us, the Syrian people. We don’t understand why this fighting is going on. We want to live in peace.” The images in the news of the destruction of the city keep …

junco at Holy Wisdom Monastery

December phenology (Cold Moon)

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology 2 Comments

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 in December. 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. Winter birds Residents: chickadee, cardinal, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, house finch and woodpeckers Winter visitors from …

Jerry Folk’s Homily, December 11, 2016

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies 1 Comment

December 11, 2016 (Advent III) Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, WI John the Baptist is a prominent figure in the scripture readings for the Advent Season.  Last Sunday we heard him declare, “The Reign of God is at hand and the Messiah will be here soon with a winnowing fork in his hand. He’ll separate the wheat from the chaff and throw the chaff in an unquenchable fire.” A few verses later, John reveals the identity of the Messiah. He points to Jesus and says, “He is the one.” But in today’s reading he’s not so sure. Reports about what Jesus …

Monastery bell tower, fall trees and far horizon

St Benedict’s survival kit

Joanne Kollasch, OSB Rule of Benedict, Spirituality Articles 1 Comment

The following reflections were shared by Sister Joanne Kollasch at a recent Benedictine Women of Madison Board of Directors meeting, part of the ongoing opportunities for our board to become more deeply rooted in the Benedictine tradition and values at Holy Wisdom Monastery. ____________________________________________ I continue to reflect on what’s happening in our country after the recent political election. The post-election turmoil is raised in many conversations I’m part of. So, what is my response? I found this quotation from Thomas Merton and a beginning answer to my question: “To say that I am made in the image of God …

Patricia La Cross’ Homily, December 4, 2016

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies 1 Comment

In today’s gospel from Matthew, John proclaims a Jesus who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Jesus is the one singled out by the Creator to bestow the gifts of wisdom and understanding, counsel and strength, knowledge and fearful wonder before God. Jesus is the One who will restore justice and unite the world. It is our mission as a faith community—from a hill no less—to signal to the peoples that this living God still calls us to live together in harmony, with patient courage. As we entered this Advent season last week I was stifling a cough …