Celebrating the gift of ecumenical Benedictine community

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Monastic Life, Oblates, Sunday Assembly, Women Exploring Community Leave a Comment

Today, February 17, 2012, marks the 6th anniversary of our official re-founding as an ecumenical Benedictine community for Benedictine Women of Madison. “A New World Order” is how the media sees it. “Welcoming women of all Christian traditions” is how we talk about it. “It is a gift to be welcomed into a community” is how a recent Volunteer in Community experiences it. The history that brings us to this day is rich and deep, as Sister Mary David Walgenbach recalls: The first steps were inspired by the decrees of the Second Vatican Council and the Community of Taize, France. …

Wisdom for Our Times from the Benedictine Tradition

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Monastic Life, Oblates Leave a Comment

The Benedictine tradition, which has thrived for over 1500 years, contains deep wisdom for today. The Conference of Benedictine Prioresses published a study booklet entitled Wisdom from the Tradition: A Statement of North American Benedictine Women in Response to Our Times. In it they bring wisdom from the lived experience of Benedictines through the centuries to respond to some of the pressing issues of our times. To address the fear, alienation, domination, exclusion and violence of our times, they offer five dimensions of monastic wisdom: Extending respect and reverence to others will overcome our fears and theirs. Community-building will counteract …

Emerging Gifts and Nesting Dolls

Claudia Porter Benedictine Bridge, Oblates Leave a Comment

“Gift”–for me the word continues to bring visions of gaily wrapped packages in colorful paper with great big bows. “Emerging gifts,” on the other hand, present an image of those boldly painted European folk-art nesting dolls. These, unlike wrapped gifts, are not torn into with excitement and anticipation; rather they are slowly and carefully unpacked and savored. There is a certain fascination, even mystery, as each doll is discovered hidden inside another. In a very similar way, Oblate candidates unpack the emerging gifts of Benedictine spirituality during their year of formation. We meet regularly, often with the community of already committed Benedictine Oblates at Holy Wisdom …

The Religious Challenges of Today — the Benedictine Answer

Anne Edwardson Benedictine Bridge, Oblates Leave a Comment

250 Oblates from 6 continents and 32 countries gathered in Rome, Italy at the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI for the Second Oblate World Congress. Abbot Primate Nokter Wolf, the symbol of unity among Benedictine communities worldwide, in addressing the assembly suggested that these are special, difficult times of crisis; both in economies and in security and it is hoped that Benedictine Oblates may help respond to these challenges. What was the Benedictine Oblate answer? Contemplation and dialogue…. The Second Oblate World Congress was introduced with a Russian icon, Christ the Light of the World and the comment, “Deep within the human heart is a desire …