Libby Caes’ Homily from the Epiphany, January 6, 2019

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Epiphany January 6, 2019 Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12   This past December I took a ten day silent retreat at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. At breakfast on the next to the last day this was written on the message board: “Stay until you leave.” I stopped in my tracks, took a deep breath and realized I had an attitude adjustment to make. Even at breakfast I wasn’t fully present. My thoughts were turning towards the journey home and re-entering life here. I had been away from Madison for two weeks. “Stay until you leave.” I would …

Joseph Wiesenfarth’s Homily from Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018

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Joseph Wiesenfarth Homily 12.24.18 Isaiah 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14, 3:5-7, Luke 2:1-20   I bring you a star tonight in the person of Joseph Brodsky (1940-1995).  He was exiled from the Soviet Union after spending 18 months in the bitter cold of Arkhangelsk [Ar-han-gelsk] for being a poet.  But not just for being a poet, but for answering the court’s question of why he was a poet by saying:  “I think it’s . . . from God.”  That was the right answer at the wrong time.  It got a chilling reception—a shack in Siberia, where, ironically, Brodsky was happy and immersed …

Patti La Cross’s Homily from December 30, 2018

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December 30, 2018                                                                            Holy Wisdom Monastery 1 Samuel 2:18-20,26; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52                  Patti La Cross   It is a joy and a privilege to be here with you celebrating “the third story of Christmas” as renowned scripture scholar Raymond Brown referred to this Gospel passage.   Observant children of all ages might wonder how we come to this story of Jesus, aged 12, only a week after he appears in the manger. It’s tempting to bask in the Silent Night image: a resting new mother, nursing and falling in love with her precious infant; his protective father nearby.   …

New books in the library—January 2019

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Enrich your mind and spirit—visit the monastery library! January 2019   The start of a new year is always a good time to re-evaluate ourselves and our lifestyles.   Do we need to finally go on that diet or find a better way to handle stress or eliminate some of the stress factors in our lives?   For a quiet place to reflect on the year ahead, consider visiting the monastery for weekday prayer, a stroll around the grounds, spiritual guidance, or browsing the library.   The monastery library recently added the following books to its collection:   Berry, Wendell.  …

Wayne Sigelko’s Homily from December 16, 2018

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Gaudete Sunday Sunday, December 16, 2018   “Is there any point in bothering about joy? Is joy not among those luxury items of life that have no place in the meager private area tolerated in wartime conversations? Certainly, it has no place in a prison cell where one is pacing back and forth, his hands in irons, his heart swelled by all the winds of longing, his head filled with worries and questions.”   So begins the reflection on the Third Sunday of Advent of the Jesuit priest, Alfred Delp from his prison cell in Tegel prison outside Berlin on …

Sojourner diary—hopeful expectations

Rachel Olson Living in Community, Sojourner diary 2 Comments

Advent is a season of hopeful expectation. Nowhere is that more clearly illustrated for us than in the Gospel stories of mother-to-be Mary as she surrenders herself to God and then patiently waits for the Divine plan and purpose for her life to develop and emerge within her. I’m guessing from my own childbearing experiences that it wasn’t always easy or comfortable. For Mary, saying yes to the Spirit was risk. It was a guarantee that her life would change and that some of that change would bring pain. But, say yes to God also meant that she would be …

Learning to hope

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

In the sisters’ chapter meeting last week we began reading an article entitled “Advent Currents,” by Sr. Bede Luetkemeyer, OSB, from a 2004 issue of the magazine Spirit and Life. In the article Sr. Bede reflects on the advent themes of hope, patience and desire. In the section on hope, she quotes Lutheran theologian Jürgen Moltmann. “True hope—which means the hope that endures and sustains us—is based on God’s call and command. We are called to hope. It is a command: a command to resist death. It is a call: the call to divine life. Enduring hope is not something …

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 …

Colleen Hartung’s Homily from December 9, 2018

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Wilderness voices, Reorientation, and Hospitable Advent Waiting Homily, Luke 3: 1-6 By Colleen D. Hartung   Every time I have opened my assigned homily scripture over the last year I have been inevitably drawn into a reflection on the religious and political circumstances of our times; iconic gospel stories, compelling characters and mesmerizing events, celebrations and rituals resonated with the religious and political issues that define our day and age like immigration, gender equity, LGBTQI rights, racism and more.  These themes leapt off the page and were impossible to ignore.  The current machinations of various religious and political players, the …

Jerry Folk’s Homily from December 2, 2018

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December 2, 2018 (Advent I) Holy Wisdom Monastery Madison, WI These apocalyptic passages from the New Testament have never appealed to me. I don’t like their antiquated cosmology and surrealistic images, but at a deeper level I dislike them because, at this darkest time of the year, they speak and require a homilist to speak about darkness, death and the END. These are things from which all living beings instinctively recoil. This is a voice which our society seeks to drown out with seductive distractions like Black Friday and the orgy of consumption it initiates. But the Reality these readings …