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 …

Contemporary Perspective on Social Justice

Holy Wisdom Monastery Spirituality Articles 2 Comments

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for sisters and brothers to dwell together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1 Most people have an inherent belief in equal rights. Unfortunately, in the chaos and upheaval of the modern world, many people still face ethnic persecution, unsafe living and working conditions and lack even the most basic survival necessities. Awareness of such conditions is more important than ever. It may be hard to find a focus in the overwhelming need for social justice. There is, however, a starting point. Many groups, secular and religious, share basic commitments to social justice, such …

Contemplation: Seeing the Silent Center of Love

Beth O'Brien Benedictine Bridge, Prayer & Worship Leave a Comment

Today it is the sixty-three purposeful steps to my roadside mailbox. Each step offers the on-going gifts of the journey: the tiniest of red mites dancing circles on rain-frayed hollyhock leaves like turning kaleidoscopes of life, the yarrow’s responsive swoop and spill mimicking the deep yearnings of the world, and from the top perches of the steady oak the gargled call of the red-bellied woodpecker replying in synchronicity to the measured jumps of a startled, wood-house toad. The harsh corners of the world are momentarily set aside to embrace these reminders that all of life is one continuous, interconnected, flow …

Lynn Ramshaw's Homily from July 18, 2010

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies Leave a Comment

The following homily was delivered by Lynn Ramshaw, an oblate of Holy Wisdom Monastery, at Sunday Assembly on July 18, 2010. All of us here, in one way or another, are influenced by and committed to the Benedictine value of hospitality.  Today’s Scripture invites us to an exciting consideration; our most important guest, every day, is God! That reality evolves, beginning with a story from Genesis. Abraham is resting in an already sacred space at the oaks of Mamre. Three angelic beings approach him. The scripture says right away that God is the visitor; I’m not certain Abraham knows that for sure, but he seems …

St. Benedict and St. Scholastica Founders of Benedictine Monasticism

Holy Wisdom Monastery Spirituality Articles Leave a Comment

Excerpts from St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, by Sr. Margaret Clarke, OSB: Benedict, whose name in Latin means “Blessed,” was born to a Christian family in the mountains to the northeast of Rome (A.D.480?). The Roman Empire was crumbling and the Goths and Vandals controlled Italy. As a youth, he was sent to Rome for schooling and there experienced a religious awakening which caused him to renounce corrupt secular society and to join a band of Christian ascetics. He later became a hermit, living in the hill region of Subiaco. His fame as a holy person grew until he was …