With the beginning of June came thoughts of my great-grandmother’s rose bush. A lush green bush covered with
antique roses. I’ve never known such breath-taking fragrance! This rose bush remained at the house where we grew up. Continue Reading
Sister Jackie’s Monastic Profession Here’s our home movie of Sister Jackie’s First Monastic Profession. What a blessing it is to welcome her fully into the community. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the chapel!!
Now that Pentecost is over, we have returned to Ordinary Time in the cycle of the Church. Nothing is ordinary about it, however. We travel with Jesus as he begins his public ministry of healing, forgiving and preaching the Kingdom of God. On Pentecost he blesses his disciples with the Spirit that will continue to guide them in their carrying on the ministry of Jesus. Like Jesus, his disciples are in for a rough time of it. Continue Reading
Happy Birthday, everyone! That’s right, Happy Birthday! Today is Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter, and is often called the “birthday of the church.” In fact, Pentecost actually ranks higher than the wonderful celebration of Christmas. We began our celebration here with a Saturday evening vigil. Continue Reading
In her 40’s, Jackie Walsh (far right) was happy. She had a great job as a business systems analyst, a comfortable home in Bloomington, Ill., and a new Ford Focus. She had lots of friends. And she belonged to an active and wonderful parish.
So why did she chuck it all to jump half-blind into the counter-cultural, misunderstood and little-known world of a Benedictine monastery? Because God called. Continue Reading
Parting the clouds like water, the sun shone brightly this morning for the first time in 2 days. As we gather now for our conference, it slips behind the clouds, dimming the diamonds in the grass. From the top of a nearby sapling, a cherry red cardinal calls out. No answer. He tries again. Below, our chipmunk continues her looting operation beneath the bird feeders, darting to her nest again and again, cheeks full. Continue Reading
Thunderstorms crackled and roared through the area early this morning, leaving puddled walkways, downed branches, and, for the moment at least, no breeze at all. Our resident chipmunk darts past as if the sun were shining brightly. Overhead, flat-iron gray clouds are pocked with wisps of light. More thunderstorms are forecast. Continue Reading
Another warm, breezy morning greets us as we gather in the dining room for our conference. Thunderstorms have been forecast for the afternoon, but the sky looks benign right now. Haze tints the horizon a pale white and a few tufts of wool pass lazily overhead. Down to earth, a chipmunk races between the bird feeders and her nest, cheeks bulging with her loot. Abbot John brings us back to our immediate purpose, saying, Good Morning. Continue Reading
We enjoy late Lauds during retreat, beginning at 8 a.m., then gathering afterward in the dining room for the morning’s conference. Sister Anne’s finches and cardinals pass through dappled sunlight to visit her feeders, wings glinting as they catch the sun’s rays. A vigorous, young river birch waves its leaves in the warm summer breeze just overhead. Abbot John begins. Continue Reading
Life is very quiet around here this week. We are on retreat, a time of silence and reflection, prayer and rest. A time when we can watch Sister Helen’s velvety pink petunias bob in the warm breeze … listen to the chickadees chatter as they flit from branch to branch … smell a tangle of scents rising off the lake and passing through the brush to the path … a time to sit and do precisely nothing.
But nothing means something profound during retreat. It means opening ourselves to God and God’s work within us. Also, we have help from a wonderful retreat director. Continue Reading