Finding the presence of goodness

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 1 Comment

In our morning chapter meetings we are reading an article by Demetrius Dumm, OSB, “On Religious Community.” It was published in Benedictines, in 1976. Dumm was a Scripture scholar from St. Vincent’s Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He was steeped in the Benedictine way of life. The quote below caught my attention this week.  “In those large areas of human experience that can be described as ambiguous, the believer will assume the presence of goodness. This assumption allows the latent goodness to appear and the situation can be ‘redeemed.’” (p. 75) So much of what we hear about in the news …

Prayer and work

Lynne Smith, OSB Care for the Earth, Living in Community 2 Comments

It was 73 degrees in Middleton on Monday, April 8, 2019. Since Monday is a day of leisure for the sisters, I spent a large part of the day outside. I raked up the sticks dropped by the oaks during the winter in the front yard at Bingen House and listened to the birds. This will be the last week of free meals for the birds. The squirrels have learned how to climb down onto the feeder from the roof of the house, hang from the upper perches by their back feet and eat their fill from the lower seed …

How justice can start from joy

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

About a month ago, I had a conversation about justice for a podcast with Christina Roberts, an oblate of Holy Wisdom and pastor at foundry414, a non-denominational Christian church in Madison, WI, and Dave Schmelzer, executive director and co-founder of the Blue Ocean Faith network. This month, instead of writing a blog, I share our conversation with you. In our conversation I shared some of the relationships with people coming to the monastery from Syria, India, and Guatemala that have touched my heart. It’s entitled, How justice can start from joy. You can listen here: https://www.blueoceanfaith.org/media/683449-2862709-1774550/131-how-justice-can-start-from-joy

Stories shape us

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

“It is the telling of the story of the gesture of Francis which gives the heritage the power to traverse time and to be creative. It is not constitutions, not norms that do this. A movement without a legend spends its energy in ensuring its survival.” – Francis of Assisi Today, by Christian Duquoc   The quote above was part of our reading at midday prayer on October 4, 2018 for the commemoration of Francis of Assisi. What struck me was how important story is in shaping our lives. Benedictines are great story tellers. Besides reading the Rule of Benedict, …

Contributing to kindness

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 5 Comments

Lately, I’ve resolved to see and contribute to small acts of kindness or simple friendliness. The news tells us every day about so much violence and cruelty that it is easy to conclude that meanness and terror is the general atmosphere in the world. I find it important to remind myself that there is much more going on in the world than violence. The human heart is inherently compassionate. The past few days, I’ve experienced a number of small acts of kindness that have reminded me of this. At a gas station, the person at the pump next to me …

A Lenten Retreat focusing on the Passion of Christ

Car McGinley Leave a Comment

Sisters Rosy Kandathil and Lynne Smith will lead this retreat at The Upper House in downtown Madison as an outreach to students and others on the campus. The retreat is open to people beyond the campus and there is no cost. The retreat will provide a window into the Rule of Benedict in preparation for Easter, with a particular focus on personal preparation and the Passion of Christ. Register now or learn more.