The Monastic Heart

queen annes lace and lake

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

What distinguishes monastic religious life from apostolic religious life includes some straightforward lifestyle differences. Monastics pray, live, and often work together. Apostolic Sisters usually do not, at least not as a whole group.

More difficult to articulate is something often referred to as the “monastic heart,” a state of being that embraces silence and a listening stance. Whether you are married, single or a Benedictine Sister, having a monastic heart helps engage you in right relationship with all creation.

When I was living and teaching in Chicago years ago, the constant noise and congestion of the place got old fast. I couldn’t wait to get home to Dubuque, Iowa, to hear … nothing. I couldn’t wait to rest my senses. Continue Reading

God’s Early Morning Gifts


Walking on an early summer morning, Sister Sheila is greeted by the sun. The darkness of fall and winter beckons her as much, as she prays her rosary and gives thanks for God’s gifts.

By Sister Sheila McGrath, OSB

Peaceful … quiet … dark. What am I describing? My morning walk!

God’s gifts are so evident as I take my morning walk at the beginning of each new day. Continue Reading