New books in the library—August 2020

Nancy Sandleback Library Leave a Comment

Enrich your mind and spirit—visit the monastery library! August 2020 Please continue to wear a mask wherever you go and practice social distancing.  And stay safe. The monastery library added the following books to its collection: Carter, Warren.  Mark.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2019. Chittister, Joan.  Dear Joan Chittister.  New London, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 2019. Chittister, Joan.  The Time is Now.  New York: Convergent, 2019. Delio, Ilia.  Birth of a Dancing Star.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2019. Goranson Jacob, Haley.  Conformed to the Image of His Son.  Downer’s Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2018. Heisig, James.  Of Gods and Minds.  Nagoya, …

Reflections of a racist nun*

Denise West, OSB Uncategorized 14 Comments

Did the title catch your attention? I hope so, because it is intentional. I wonder what the world would be like if every morning thousands of white people took a page from 12-step programs and greeted one another with, “Hello. My name is _______, and I am racist.” I was recently diagnosed with the disease of racism. The strange thing is that I made the diagnosis myself, which is really the only way you can know if you have it. The metaphor of racism as a disease (as opposed to racism as individual actions carried out consciously by bad white …

Finding hope in Benedictine life

Lynne Smith, OSB Uncategorized Leave a Comment

We are reading an article in chapter* by Sister Ephrem Hollermann, OSB from St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, MN entitled “Reflections on the Conversation” (American Benedictine Review 66:4 – December 2015, 391-400). In it she cites an article written by Matthias Newman, OSB, a monk of Saint Meinrad Abbey in Indiana entitled “Dimensions of Hope in the Benedictine Vision (Benedictines 32:2 (Fall-Winter 1977) 67-74; 110-113).” Sister Ephrem found Father Matthais’s article extremely helpful back in 1977 after experiencing 10 years of loss and change early in her Benedictine life following Vatican Council II and multiple deaths in her community. …

Lynne Smith’s Homily from July 12, 2020

Lynne Smith, OSB Homilies Leave a Comment

The parable of the sower and the soils through the lens of the Rule of Benedict                July 12, 2020 Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23                                                                                                     Lynne Smith, OSB Because we celebrate the Solemnity of Benedict and Scholastica this weekend and because the parable of the sower and the soils is so familiar, I thought it would be interesting to consider the parable through the lens of the Rule of Benedict. So in full disclosure, I’m deviating from using the historical critical method of analyzing the text and instead considering the parable in the manner of lectio divina, holy reading. For years when …

July phenology

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology 1 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 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. July Phenology The following July events are from observations I have recorded over the years: Usually …

Grace in disruption?

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 7 Comments

Since the beginning of Lent, I’ve been slowly reading Michael Casey’s book: Grace On the Journey to God. The title of his first chapter “The Grace of Discontinuity” caught me off guard. Being a person who likes order, I had never thought of discontinuity as a grace. Then COVID-19 hit bringing more discontinuity than any of us could have imagined. When I was thinking about where to find hope in these times, I went back to Casey’s book. Casey would have us appreciate the role of discontinuity in our lives as the thing that moves us along the spiritual journey. …

New books in the library—July 2020

Nancy Sandleback Library Leave a Comment

Enrich your mind and spirit—visit the monastery library! July 2020 If you’ve been wearing a mask wherever you go and practicing social distancing, thank you.  It’s appreciated.  While we can’t all be together yet, you are missed.  Stay safe. The monastery library, a quiet place with a beautiful view and stimulating reading, recently added the following books to its collection: Carter, Warren.  Mark.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2019. Chittister, Joan.  Dear Joan Chittister.  New London, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 2019. Chittister, Joan.  The Time is Now.  New York: Convergent, 2019. Delio, Ilia.  Birth of a Dancing Star.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, …

Looking Back: “The Last Word,” Arthur Dent, and the Rule (2000)

Brooke Moriarty Benedictine Bridge, Community of Benedict, Looking Back, Monastic Life, Rule of Benedict 1 Comment

Sister Bridget got the last word in many issues of Benedictine Bridge. For some, her writings were a favorite as she mingled Benedictine insight with straightforward thinking. It may even be a surprise to find this writing from the Ordinary Times 2000 issue of our newsletter bringing together Douglas Addams’ character, Arthur Dent, and the founder of western monasticism, St. Benedict. Let me say this about that: 1,500 years is a long time. Put another way, one thousand five hundred years is a mindbogglingly long period of time. Remember Arthur Dent? He was the guy wearing a bathrobe who hitchhiked …

Jim Penczykowski’s Homily from the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 14, 2020

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies Leave a Comment

I want to talk about viaticum today.  Roman Catholics of a certain age will nod knowingly and think of the practice of taking Holy Communion to someone near death.  The term in ancient Rome referred to provision for a journey, literally, “with you on the way”.  I can think of no better expression to offer anyone who is setting out on a journey, even when the destination is clear and without peril. In our time of pandemic and societal unrest if we can sincerely say to one another, “with you on the way”, we are saying a lot. We citizens …

Looking Back: ‘Ecumenical Monastic Life Offers Journey into a New Culture’ (2003) by Erica Thiessen

Brooke Moriarty Benedictine Bridge, Community of Benedict, Interfaith Relations, Living in Community, Looking Back, Monastic Life, Rule of Benedict 1 Comment

In 2003, Erica Thiessen was a novice of Benedictine Women of Madison. In Issue 12 of Benedictine Bridge from Ordinary Time 2003, she wrote this article reflecting on the value of Benedictine life in relation to her own experiences as a Mennonite. I have been journeying into different lands from almost before I was born. My parents were both Russian Mennonite immigrants to Canada. As a family, we traveled to Ghana and Trinidad where my father taught school. In ways, I became a pilgrim, and for much of my adult life, I have lived and worked around the world. Always …