Perspective from monastery hilltop overlooking prairie, Lake Mendota and Madison in the distance.

Gaining perspective in contentious times

Lynne Smith, OSB Building Community, Living in Community 6 Comments

I was talking with a leader of a class being held at the monastery last week. While he was on break, he spoke about the reasons he likes coming to the monastery. He said coming to the monastery helps him gain perspective on his work. The view from the top of the hill of the capital and downtown Madison represents this change of perspective. He teaches at the university and finds it helpful to come across the lake periodically to step back and look at his life and work from another viewpoint. The sisters have been reading Joan Chittister’s commentary …

Sisters walking together outdoors

Passionate about building community

Lynne Smith, OSB Building Community, Living in Community Leave a Comment

Sister Joanne often says, “Building community is one of the things we do around here.” Indeed it is. You could say we are passionate about building community at Holy Wisdom Monastery. In the sisters’ community and the oblate community, in Sunday Assembly, among coworkers, Benedictine Sojourners and Friends of Wisdom Prairie—we seek to foster personal connections where people can find a welcome acceptance for who they are and a vibrant place to give and receive personal gifts and experience the divine. Many people today express a desire for community in a society where they experience so much divisiveness and isolation. …

Sojourners Paz and Denise standing together holding their favorite crosses

Tequio, or ‘giving back’ Mexican style

Paz Vital, OSB Little notes from a prairie journey, Living in Community 2 Comments

Have you ever asked yourself about your gifts? What is a gift? Do you have gifts? What kind of gift or how many gifts do you have? And if you have ever asked yourself these questions (we all have gifts), have you used your gifts properly, generously? In the native communities in Mexico, everybody knows their gifts and uses them for the welfare of the whole community.  People in these ancestral towns call this action Tequio. They think that all we are or have in the present time is thanks to the determination of our ancestors, who planned and constructed …

Sisters and sojourners share conversation over breakfast preparations

Community living

Lynne Smith, OSB Building Community, Living in Community 3 Comments

On Mondays in Bingen House, where I live with Rosy and the sojourners, Denise and Paz, we have developed something of a tradition we call “Monday Breakfasts.” Monday is our day of renewal for activities that refresh us body, soul and spirit. We have leisure time in the morning to make a big breakfast which usually turns into brunch. You might recognize this tradition in your house on a Saturday or Sunday. Sojourners Denise (far left) and Paz (far right) and Sisters Rosy (middle, left) and Lynne (middle, right) preparing breakfast together. This past Monday we stood around the kitchen …