New books in the library—February 2020

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Enrich your mind and spirit–visit the monastery library! February 2020   With the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday, the Lenten season officially begins.  Forty days in which to reflect on our spiritual lives and prepare for Easter. Consider participating in daily prayer at the monastery or taking a walk around the grounds or find a book in the library that speaks to you.   We hope to see you soon.   The monastery library recently added the following books to its collection:   Park, Song-Mi Suzie.  2 Kings.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2019. Carter, Warren.  Mark.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical …

Jerry Folk’s Homily from January 12, 2020

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January 12, 2020 (Baptism of Jesus) Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, WI   This morning we commemorate the baptism of Jesus, so I’d like to reflect on the story of that baptism in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 3. In the first two chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is an infant in a poor, homeless Jewish family, but in those chapters, Mathew reveals that this infant is God’s special agent in the world. His mission is to make the reign of God real here and now. In today’s Gospel Jesus, now a grown man, has come from Galilee to the wilderness …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from the Epiphany, January 5, 2020

Lynne Smith, OSB Homilies Leave a Comment

Matthew 2:1-12                                                                     Epiphany – January 5, 2020 This gospel passage has special resonance with me ever since I made a retreat in 1985, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s in Concordia, KS. I had been ordained for three years and was serving my first church as assistant minister. I had begun to feel as if I had lost myself in the role of minister. I was searching for something; I wasn’t sure what. The notion came to me to make a retreat. So I registered for a personal retreat at Manna House of Prayer run by the Sisters …

What’s the point?

Denise West, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

Recently I popped in to Sister Barb’s office for a quick chat and maybe a bite of chocolate. As I scanned her bookshelf, this title jumped out at me: What is the Point of Being a Christian? A rather bold question, I thought, and asked to borrow the book. As I’ve gleaned so far, the answer, according to Dominican Friar Timothy Radcliffe, is Life and Freedom. He says the Christian should have a certain air of mysterious freedom that attracts people. The Christian who is truly alive lives and speaks with authenticity, hope and courage. These words challenged me. As often …

Joseph Wiesenfarth’s Homily from December 29, 2019

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Joseph Wiesenfarth Homily 12.29.2019 Isaiah 63:7-9, Hebrews 2:10-18; Mt. 2:13-23   Today’s three readings are about people being saved.  Isaiah tells us about “God’s gracious deeds,” including Israel’s being saved.  And given the season, we can appropriately add this from Isaiah, which is all about salvation getting us beyond Israel: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder and his name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor … Prince of Peace” (9:6). The epistle to the Hebrews is precisely about such a messiah.  It is written to Jews …

Terry Larson’s Homily from Christmas Day, December 25, 2019

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Christmas Day, Holy Wisdom Monastery Terry Larson December 25, 2019 Luke 2:1-21 Blessed Christmas!  Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It’s a time to celebrate the amazing fact that God is with us!  What did we hear just this past Sunday from the prophet Isaiah? – ‘a young woman shall bear a son and he shall be called Immanuel, God with us!!’ That’s what we are celebrating. God is with us. And in the Gospels we hear the glorious responses of the heavenly host, the sturdy shepherds, and the sages from afar to that wonderful news. It’s truly good …

David McKee’s Homily from Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019

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CHRISTMAS EVE 2019   Isaiah 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7; Luke 2:1-20     In those days a decree went out from the Emperor Augustus…  Such familiar words; almost like Once upon a time…– a trigger for so many memories, both joyous and painful.  For many of us, there are memories of many midnight masses and many Christmas pageants in the parish hall, with children costumed as angels and shepherds, as Mary and Joseph, and as all manner of people in 2000 year-old Middle Eastern garb.  And also for many of us, there are painful memories of old cycles of family …

New books in the library—January 2020

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Enrich your mind and spirit–visit the monastery library! January 2020   The presents are unwrapped and perhaps returned or broken already. Store managers are stocking the shelves with Valentine candy and the tree is losing copious amounts of pine needles as it is escorted to the curb for pickup.   Is the holiday really over? Is it time to pack it away with the glass ornaments and hopelessly tangled tree lights? No! The spirit of Christmas—the spirit of giving—has no time limits. It’s a way of thinking, of living, that we can take with us every day, 365 days of …

Rev. Rex E. Piercy’s Homily from December 15, 2019

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Sermon preached at Sunday Assembly, Holy Wisdom Monastery, Middleton, WI Third Sunday of Advent – December 15, 2019 Text – Matthew 11:2-11 Out there beyond these sanctuary doors, December is in the final, mad dash to Christmas, fueled on with a consumerist frenzy of shopping and a kind of exhaustion which arises from way too much to do and so very little time in which to accomplish it all. Amid the too short days and long nights of the impending cold season, we’re all very much in need of that proverbial “long winter’s nap.” Our culture doesn’t so much observe …

Jerry Folk’s Homily from December 8, 2019

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December 8, 2019 (Advent II) Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, Wi   I begin with a quote from Teilhard de Chardin that I used in a sermon last Advent. “Expectation…of an end to the world, that is to say, of an issue for the world…is perhaps…the most distinctive characteristic of our religion…but in reality, we should have to admit… that we no longer expect anything.” The readings of the Advent Season seek to renew our expectation.  Today’s reading from Isaiah promises that divine-human partnership will create a new earth. This promise is not based on experience. Isaiah lived in a very …