Learning from the forest

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 2 Comments

I recently listened to a TED talk by Suzanne Simard entitled, “How Trees Talk to Each Other.” Suzanne is a forest ecologist in British Columbia, Canada. Her research over the past 30 years has shown that forests are not just a collection of individual trees. Rather the trees in a forest are connected and communicate with each other through a vast, complex underground network of fungal highways called a mycorrhizal network. Through these networks trees transmit carbon and water, as well as defense signals when a tree is injured by disease or insects. Within this communication network there are hub …

Discernment and the Spiritual Life: Prayer, Mindfulness, and Community

Holy Wisdom Monastery Leave a Comment

In the midst of life’s mysteries and difficulties, the process of sorting through our feelings, experiences, and choices can be challenging. How do we make those choices? What is discernment? How is discernment practiced within the spiritual life? Gaining insights from such stories as Jesus’ temptation in the Gospel of Luke and others, we will explore these questions as we experience the process of discernment through lectio divina (divine reading), contemplative prayer, community, and mindfulness. Lunch is included. Dr. Andre B. Heuer  D. Min. LICSW has supported and challenged individuals for 40 years as a psychotherapist, educator, and pastoral minister working …

The Last Days

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Letters home, Living in Community 20 Comments

It’s early April 2017 and I am approaching the final stretch of my master’s degree in scripture at Saint John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, MN. I’ve immersed myself in New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew, taken theology and scripture classes, read volumes, written graduate level exegetical papers—all in preparation for this last semester of examinations. The next and last hurdle is my oral comprehensive exam, today, as I sit before a panel of professors who will probe my competence in the field of scripture and decide if I have demonstrated the level of proficiency required to have earned a …