Sisters Receive Many Commendations from the Federation of Saint Gertrude

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Monastic Life 0 Comments

From December 12-14, Benedictine Women of Madison received a visit from Joella Kidwell, OSB, President of the Federation of Saint Gertrude; and Margaret Michaud, OSB, St. Bede Monastery. Every monastery belonging to the Federation of Saint Gertrude receives a visit from the federation president every five years. It’s a time to check in about what is going well at the monastery and a time to evaluate what might be improved. Sisters Joella and Margaret made 11 commendations for the work at Holy Wisdom Monastery, including: The successful creation of an ecumenical monastic community since their last visit and the admission of one …

Making New Year's Resolutions?

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 0 Comments

The following reading from midday prayer on January 3 sheds a gentle light on New Year’s resolutions: Benedict believes the question “Who longs for life?” is asked every day, and every day offers a new opportunity to respond positively. New Year’s resolutions may be a cliche, but the new year is an opportunity to think about new beginnings. Make a very short and realistic list this year, keep it where you will see it often, and check your progress (or lack!) regularly. Benedict reminds us not to dwell on it, but to thank God if today was good, ask forgiveness …

Saint Benedict’s Rule: Guide for the Ages

Holy Wisdom Monastery Rule of Benedict, Spirituality Articles 0 Comments

“Listen, child of God, to the guidance of your teacher. Attend to the message you hear and make sure that it pierces to your heart…” –Prologue to the Rule While living in Italy during the 6th century, Benedict of Nursia wrote a guide for community life, which he called a “little rule for beginners.” The Rule of Benedict quickly became the foundation for monastic communities across Europe, giving direction for ordinary people wanting to live extraordinarily well. The spirituality of the Rule is essentially lay in its origins. Eager disciples came to Benedict’s small cave, seeking guidance in their search …

Advent: The Season of Waiting at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Mike Sweitzer-Beckman Benedictine Bridge, Prayer & Worship, Sunday Assembly 0 Comments

November 28 marked the first Sunday of Advent for this calendar year, simultaneously marking the first day of the new church year on the liturgical calendar. Advent stems from the Latin word Adventus, meaning ‘coming.’ In the Christian tradition it is a reminder of the time period that the Hebrews spent waiting for the birth of Jesus Christ. The celebration of Advent at Holy Wisdom Monastery with the Sunday Assembly community stems from the sisters’ visions and values as an ecumenical Benedictine community. In 2001, the Benedictine Women of Madison established the Monastic Ritual Team, which oversees all prayer and worship activities at …

Advent Meditation

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 0 Comments

As we travel through these days of Advent, I would like to share the following poem with you as an Advent meditation. This poem comes from A Tree Full of Angels, Seeking the Holy in the Ordinary, by Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB.: Climbing down through the stars to the stars on earth The divine face meshing with the human Heaven touching earth We call it Incarnation! You came as a star led by a star through the stars to the stars We never knew we were stars until you came. O God, we welcome you We lovingly share our frail human …

Reflections on Formation in Community

Lynne Smith, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Monastic Life, Women Exploring Community 0 Comments

My work as director of membership and monastic formation has prompted me to reflect on my own formation lately. Formation is different for each woman who comes to community, yet the process is similar. Prayer, common work and dialogue, study, leisure and the practices of hospitality, listening, obedience and humility invite a woman into the on-going conversion at the heart of monastic life. Some stories from my own early years in community may shed light on the process of Benedictine formation. An ordinary event soon after I moved to the monastery revealed a portion of God’s agenda for my formation. …

Centering Prayer: Resting in God

Holy Wisdom Monastery Spirituality Articles 2 Comments

Imagine two friends sitting in silence, content to simply be with one another. They have a sense of calm and comfort in the ease of their relationship. Over time, centering prayer opens a door to such a relationship with God. Part of an ancient contemplative tradition, centering prayer allows individuals to turn within and rest in God’s presence. The practice can be particularly rewarding for individuals caught up in the demanding details of daily life or caring for others. Through centering prayer you can connect with the inner peace of God and experience renewal. Whether practiced individually or within a group, …

Discernment

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 0 Comments

Discernment is a word often used to refer to a process of making a decision or finding direction in one’s life. For those of us who have made a commitment of stability to the Benedictine life, discernment is a fundamental and on-going practice as we seek God in community. I would like to share some reflections on discernment with you. Benedict begins his Rule or guide for life in community by encouraging each monk to “Listen … with the ear of your heart.” In The Rule of Benedict, Insights for the Ages, Joan Chittister, OSB, comments on this fundamental Benedictine …

Monastery Building Campaign: Closing the Gap!

Drew Howick Benedictine Bridge, Care for the Earth, LEED Certified Building, Main 0 Comments

It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since the “Restore the Land, Renew Your Spirit” building campaign began. Under very challenging economic conditions, more than $1.1 million has been raised toward the $2 million goal. Since last fall, campaign donors met not one, but two $100,000 matching gifts. This generous outpouring of support is truly inspiring and a testament to the commitment of more than 870 people. Between now and the end of the campaign on December 31, 2010, the work of the Benedictine Life Foundation and everyone connected with Holy Wisdom Monastery is clear: get as close …

Sister Asella Returns to Korea

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Monastic Life 0 Comments

In June 2009, Sister Asella Kim, a Missionary Benedictine from Seoul, Korea, came to live with the sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery. She was here on a year’s sabbatical after serving a Korean and American parish in New Jersey for six years. Asella has known us since 1994 when she spent four years here learning English and continuing her education. Because Sister Asella is a kindred spirit we count her as part of our community. She especially enjoyed walking in the prairie and working in the garden. She even requested a three-month extension of her sabbatical so she could help bring in the produce …