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 …

Oblates and sisters share Benedictine spirituality

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On Sunday, November 24, 2019, Sisters Paz, Denise and I drove to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Milwaukee. We had been invited to make a presentation on the Rule of Benedict and Benedictine spirituality at their GIFT (Generations in Faith Together) program. This is an inter-generational faith formation program held 10 times a year for singles, families, adults and children of all ages who gather after the Eucharist for social time, a meal and a program. We arrived in time for mass and were delighted to see that the congregation was diverse in terms of ethnicity and age. …

Wayne Sigelko’s Homily from December 1, 2019

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First Sunday of Advent 2019   Those of you have heard me preach, know that for the past couple of years, I have navigated this season of the year with great assistance from the Jesuit resistance martyr, Alfred Delp. This is how begins his reflection on the first Sunday of Advent, December 3rd 1944.   “The deepest meaning of Advent cannot be understood by anyone who has not first experienced being terrified unto death about themselves…and the constitution of humankind in general.”   Now, if that seems a little dark, it just might be because is writing from Tegel prison, …

junco at Holy Wisdom Monastery

December phenology

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By Sylvia Marek Phenology is the science of observing and recording plant and animal activities from year to year and their relationship to season and climate.  The following Madison area observations are from notes I have kept over the years.  We would love to hear about your observations here at Holy Wisdom.  Please comment on this post what, where, and the date of your observations. “I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.                       A magical thing and sweet to remember.”    —Oliver Hereford Earliest sunsets of the …

New books in the library—December 2019

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Enrich your mind and spirit–visit the monastery library! December 2019   Everyday life can often feel hectic, as you juggle work, family, and social commitments. The holidays add to that stress—with gifts to buy and wrap, cards to write, the house to decorate, and parties to plan and attend. Instead of a joyful time, this can become a frenzied and upsetting one. We all need to step back and remember the true meaning of the Advent season. During the month of December, come to the monastery and attend a program or daily prayer or discover a treasure in the library. …