Jerry Folk’s Homily from December 2, 2018

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December 2, 2018 (Advent I) Holy Wisdom Monastery Madison, WI These apocalyptic passages from the New Testament have never appealed to me. I don’t like their antiquated cosmology and surrealistic images, but at a deeper level I dislike them because, at this darkest time of the year, they speak and require a homilist to speak about darkness, death and the END. These are things from which all living beings instinctively recoil. This is a voice which our society seeks to drown out with seductive distractions like Black Friday and the orgy of consumption it initiates. But the Reality these readings …

Leora Weitzman’s Homily from November 25, 2018

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Sunday of the Fulfillment • Dan 7:9-10, 13-14; Rev 1:4b-8; Jn 18:33-37 • 11/25/18 “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” Jesus’ whole life testifies to the truth of God’s love.  Wherever we look in the Gospels, Jesus is teaching, including, healing, raising up.  The power of his witness comes from his consistency, his refusal to change his message no matter the pressure or cost.  I suspect it’s the purity of his commitment that allows his healings to work.  They are not magic tricks or displays of skill.  They …

Steve Zwettler’s Homily from Jim Green’s Funeral, November 24, 2018

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FUNERAL HOMILY For:  Jim Green November 24, 2018 Holy Wisdom Monastery By:  Steve Zwettler     JIM GREEN:  A MODERN DISCIPLE   Again, welcome to all of you here today.  It is so good of so many of you coming together here at Holy Wisdom to celebrate Jim’s life and to support his family.    As all of you know, Jim made so many wonderful connections and friendships with so many from different walks of life, and he would be delighted to see all of you here today to remember him.  On behalf of Bill, Jim’s husband, and Jim’s extended …

Sojourner diary

Rachel Olson Living in Community, Sojourner diary 1 Comment

Sojourner Diary Day 6 of Week 9 Today is the sixth day of the ninth week of my Benedictine Sojourner experience. I’ve been living in the community for two full months now, which isn’t all that long in the grand scheme of things, but somehow it feels like a great deal has happened to me in that time. Many things have changed and I can’t help feeling that once my sojourn is over, no matter what the future holds, I will not be quite the same person I was before I came here. This is a good thing. In my …

New books in the library—December 2018

Nancy Sandleback Library Leave a Comment

Enrich your mind and spirit—visit the monastery library! December 2018 Why do we immediately think of gift buying, holiday decorating and parties when we think of December? Is it because we think the only way to celebrate Christmas is with trees and gifts and fancy food? Take time this Advent season to pray, meditate and reflect on what Christmas really is about and why we celebrate it. The monastery library recently added the following books to its collection: Berry, Wendell.  A Small Porch.  Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2016. Chittister, Joan.  A Little Rule for Beginners.  Erie, PA: Benetvision, 2018. Chittister, Joan.  …

Jerry Folk’s Homily from November 18, 2018

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Pentecost 25 (November 18, 2018) Holy Wisdom Monastery Madison, WI After reading today’s lessons, I thought “My luck has run out.” So I went to the commentaries, but found little help there. But then these texts began to open up for me, especially the reading from Hebrews. I was surprised by this, since this reading is full of references to the Jewish sacrificial system and its bloody sacrifices, a system entirely alien to us. However, it would have been was very familiar to the author’s original audience because it was at the very heart of their religion. In fact, this …

Knowing who we are journeying with

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 2 Comments

Last Friday, the Servant Leadership class from UW Extension held its monthly class at the monastery. Toby Grabs, our operations manager, gave the class a tour and introduction to the monastery. I met with them to talk about how we exercise leadership in the monastery. I lifted up three principles that have guided us and served to move us into the future: listening to others collaboration and community. Because we have always been a small community and because we value collaboration and community building, we have consulted with and involved others in our ministry and decision-making through the years. In …

Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from November 11, 2018

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Before launching into the substance of today’s homily, I want to remind you that during next week’s liturgy we will set aside a specific time to turn in your stewardship pledge cards if you have not already done so.  Today’s reflection on the scripture might be considered contemplation on the abundance of God’s power and mercy in our lives.   Long-standing interpretation had it that today’s Gospel passage praised the poor widow for donating “all she had to live on” to the temple treasury (which in our minds we were to equate with giving our all to God). The Gospel …

Welcome and Humane Treatment of Arriving Migrants

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB Justice Leave a Comment

“As monastics, we strive to listen to the longings of the world ‘with the ear of our heart.’” Sometimes this means letting ourselves be torn open to recognize our own complicity in the pain and alienation of others because of personal choices we have made to benefit from systems of exclusion. If we let ourselves be opened, we will recognize the power we have to overcome the fear that separates us from one another. Then we can believe the vision set out by Jesus, who made room for everyone at the table.” –Wisdom From the Tradition: A Statement of North …

November phenology (Beaver Moon)

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology Leave a Comment

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 in November. 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. Peak bald eagle migration Peak sandhill crane migration Geese migration Coots, tundra swan, bufflehead, loons and …