Saint Benedict’s Rule: Guide for the Ages

Holy Wisdom Monastery Rule of Benedict, Spirituality Articles Leave a Comment

“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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 …

Midday Prayer in Community

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

The Liturgy of the Hours is a practice that forms the rhythm of our daily life as Benedictine sisters. As a community we gather for Morning, Midday and Evening Prayer. All are welcome to join us during any of these times of prayer. Midday prayer always includes a non-scripture reading for meditation as well as a reading from the Gospels. We have most recently been reading selections from The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, excerpts from the works of Father Thomas Keating, compiled by S. Stephanie Iachetta. The readings are usually short, but full of substance for contemplation. In July …

Benedictine Women Welcome First Associate at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Monastic Life, Women Exploring Community Leave a Comment

On September 1, 2010, Benedictine Women of Madison welcomed Mary Lynn Adams as the first associate member of Holy Wisdom Monastery. An Associate Member seeks God by following the Rule of Benedict as expressed through the mission and values of Benedictine Women of Madison, and by participating in the common life of the monastery. The associate lives, works and prays at Holy Wisdom Monastery; she is not a professed member of the community. With the successful completion of a six month probationary period, the associate and community enter into a covenant, which can be renewed annually. Through this covenant, the …