A True Friend: “Treasure Beyond Price”

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By Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; you who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance her worth. (Sirach 6: 16-17)

Recently, I found myself thinking about a Benedictine Sister who became a “sturdy shelter” for me as a schoolgirl in Moline and, later, a Sister myself. Continue Reading

A Benedictine Catholic Sister’s Story of “Yes”

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Benedictine Sisters process to Mass in their heavy serge habits.

By Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB

It was a hot August afternoon when Sisters Marilyn Hettinger, Sandra Mock and I arrived back at the Catechetical Center in Ladd, Illinois. We had been driving for 4 hours, returning from 2 months at the monastery in Nauvoo.

We had just changed out of our traditional wool habits and into our cotton work habits when the phone rang. Father William, OSB, told us that the local Presbyterian pastor’s wife had died. Could we please represent our Catholic community at her funeral?

Of course we said yes. We had enjoyed some great youth programs with our two Churches and knew that it was important to offer our prayerful support.

But changing back into our hot, heavy serge habits was quite a sacrifice. And the funeral was just an hour from then. Continue Reading

Beauty: The Wayside Sacrament

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You wake up, turn on the coffee, open the front door to pick up the paper and see … a yard full of plastic pink flamingos.

Overnight, your front yard has been filled with them. You’ve been  “flocked.”

Delightful? To you and the friends who planted them there, sure. Beautiful? Probably not. Eyesore? To many of your neighbors, yes.

Our sense of beauty is contextual, of course. It is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.

But why is it important to define what is beautiful as opposed to merely cute, fun or even downright ugly?

Because beauty is a path to God. Read more.

Wisdom Story #7: Open to God in Silence

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Ask a Catholic Benedictine Sister for her wisdom, and she’s likely to tell you a story. Why?  Because wisdom comes through listening and being. This is the 7th story in our Wisdom Series.

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

(Centering Prayer) is a way of tuning in to a fuller level of realty that is always present and in which we are invited to participate. The fundamental disposition in Centering Prayer is opening to God. – Thomas Keating

One of the wisest decisions I ever made was to commit myself to daily Centering Prayer. Continue Reading

Why Pray the Psalms?

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Benedictines immerse themselves in the Psalms at least 3 times – and sometimes as many as 7 times – every day during the Liturgy of the Hours.

By the time the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery celebrate their 50th jubilees, they have spent well over 20,000 hours praying and pondering the Psalms together.

Let’s just say the Sisters know the Psalms.

But how do they feel about them … and why? Continue Reading