Preferring Christ

Rachel Olson Living in Community, Sojourner diary Leave a Comment

Today begins my 23rd week as a Benedictine Sojourner. Where did the time go? In the beginning, six months seemed like forever, but the time has passed much too quickly and I feel like there is so much to say about my time here. I’ve been having some amazing and transformative experiences which is incredibly exciting, but at the same time, it has also proven to be a significant challenge to pin them down and turn them into brief, winsome blog posts on a regular and timely basis. I’ve discovered that it can be difficult to grasp and articulate the …

Reflections on the Feast of Saint Scholastica

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

In an article, “Keeping a Journal Can Reduce Stress,” in the Wisconsin State Journal, Sunday, February 10, 2019, psychologist Howard Weissman states, “Journaling is a way of slowing down our limited lease on life and appreciating with gratitude that which makes life meaningful and joyful and worthwhile.” The article states that journaling can be a way to “pause and reflect how [we] got where [we] are.” (p. E6) Weissman’s thoughts made me think of the purpose of leisure and contemplation in Benedictine life. An important part of Benedictine life is slowing down to take time to notice and reflect on …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from February 10, 2019

Lynne Smith, OSB Homilies Leave a Comment

Homily                                                                                                            February 10, 2019 Feast of St. Scholastica                                                                             Lynne Smith, OSB We have only one story about Saint Scholastica, that of her last meeting with Benedict, her twin brother. I know many of you know the story, but I’m going to tell it again this morning because it has an important message for us. The story is found in the second book of Dialogues by Pope Gregory the Great. Within the past few decades, Gregory’s authorship of the Dialogues has been called into question. It’s possible that the Dialogues were written after Gregory’s time under his name which was common …

February phenology

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology 4 Comments

By Sylvia Marek Phenology is a science focused on observing and recording biological events from year to year and their relationships to the change of seasons and climate. These are the “normal” phenology events we expect to see here and in the Madison area this month. We would love to hear about what you are seeing on the grounds of Holy Wisdom Monastery. Please comment on this post with what you are observing, where at Holy Wisdom and the date you observed the event. Characteristics Daylight increases to 11 hours during the month The sun is higher and melts snow …

Leora Weitzman’s Homily from January 27, 2019

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies Leave a Comment

3rd Sun. Ordinary Time • Neh 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Cor 12:12-31a; Lk 4:14-21 • 1/27/19 All the Gospels were put together with more art than appears at first glance.  For many ancient cultures, conveying spiritual truth was a major function of storytelling and could take precedence over preserving an accurate historical record.  Each evangelist shapes the events of Jesus’ life and death to bring out something a little different.  Compared to Mark and Matthew, Luke moves Jesus’ visit to Nazareth from the middle of his ministry to the very beginning and adds the scene of his reading in the …

New books in the library—February 2019

Nancy Sandleback Library Leave a Comment

Enrich your mind and spirit—visit the monastery library! February 2019 Even if your New Year’s resolutions have gone by the wayside you can challenge yourself to continue showing goodwill towards family members, neighbors and coworkers. Yes, even the person who cut you off in traffic this morning. Since you’re not spending all that free time at the gym, you can still start the year out right. Come to Holy Wisdom Monastery for daily prayer, to walk the grounds, or reflect with a spiritual guide. We hope to see you soon. The monastery library recently added the following books to its …

Paul Knitter’s Homily from January 20, 2019

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies Leave a Comment

Jan. 20, 2019 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time   Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Cor 12: 1-11; John 2:1-11.   What Are We Believing When We Say that “God Loves Us”?   The topic, or the question, that I’d like to explore with you this morning can serve as the title for this sermon: What are we believing when we say that “God loves us”? That’s a question that I found myself struggling with when I pondered this morning’s first reading from Isaiah about God’s love for God’s people.   I want to explain my problem, but then I want to the …

Co-directors for new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal arrive!

Pamela Johnson Benedictine Bridge, ECCSR Leave a Comment

On January 10, 2019 the co-directors for the new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal (ECCSR) arrived at Holy Wisdom Monastery and began their work! The ECCSR is the newest expression of the monastery’s ecumenical ministry weaving prayer, hospitality, justice, and care for the earth into a shared way of life. The co-directors arrival culminates the work of more than 16 volunteers, many of them oblates, who served on the Lilly Foundation Inc. grant writing team and the search team to find the co-directors. The new co-directors are Reverend Jerry Buss and Reverend Nancy Enderle. Jerry Buss is an ordained Evangelical …

Sojourner Diary—embracing simplicity

Rachel Olson Living in Community, Sojourner diary 4 Comments

Week 17 (of 26) I have a confession to make. Some days I really miss my highlights. When I started this journey, I was a golden, sun-kissed blond. For most of my adult life I have been one of the countless partakers of the multi-billion-dollar beauty industry that (sometimes) lets us reclaim what nature so heartlessly steals from us as we age. In our youth-oriented and appearance-conscious culture, the chance to look bright and fashion-forward can be an almost irresistible temptation. But, since moving in with the sisters, I’ve gone au natural, which sometimes leaves me feeling as drab as …

Beginning another chapter

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

On January 10, 2019, we welcomed the Rev. Nancy Enderle and the Rev. Jerry Buss, the co-directors of the Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal to the coworkers at the monastery. Joanne remarked to me: “This begins another chapter.” Her comment set me thinking about the chapters in our community’s story. The sisters’ community has authored many chapters in its life. They are a testimony to the sisters hearing and responding to the needs around them. If I were to write a summary of the chapters, it might go like this. Chapter 1 – Hospital When the Sisters of Saint …