5th Sunday: Roll the stone away and untie yourself!

burial cross

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

John 11 tells the story of Lazarus. It offers a deeper look into the ministry, heart and prayer of Jesus.

Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, first send word that Jesus’s friend, Lazarus, is ill. This, Jesus ignores, telling his disciples, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

He waits until Lazarus dies to go.  Continue Reading

2nd Sunday of Lent: Don’t Be Afraid

sun through trees for fb

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. …

A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.  But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Do not be afraid.” (Mt 17:1-9)

Jesus tells us not to be afraid … but that’s the very thing we excel at.

We fear our money won’t hold out … our health will fail … a commitment will hamstring us … something we care deeply about won’t go the way we desperately need it to.

How many times in a day, a week, an hour do we have these fears?

What will it take for our faith to grow to such a deep place in our heart and in our psyche to believe – and act on that belief – that all decisions are solved by listening to Jesus?

Do not be afraid.

Lent is a special time set aside by the church to pray and to meditate on the life and teachings of Jesus.

We want to become like his apostles who listened, who followed, and who prayed with Jesus.

Today, go to the mountain with Jesus. Ask him for help with your questions … but don’t do all the talking! Be quiet, so you can listen. Let your fears dissipate … and let your heart fill with peace.

Continue Reading

1st Sunday: Jesus Holds On, So We Hold On


We encounter our demons, like Jesus, as we journey through our lives … alone, but for the Lord, who never lets us go.

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

The desert is a metaphor for our own struggles with the demons that confront us as we insist on seeking our true freedom.

What an apt metaphor! Continue Reading

Refocus for a Deep, Sacred Lenten Season


Deer stroll along our lake in plain view every day … yet if you don’t look for them, it’s easy to miss them!

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

We can all go on autopilot during the year, right? Lent is the right time to get out of it … to go deep, to seek – and see – the sacred.

In my Benedictine community, the Sisters give a lot of thought to their Lenten resolutions. They choose spiritual reading to help guide and support them. Maybe some of their thoughts and suggestions will help you!

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Let it Shine!


The word “Lent” actually literally means Springtime, the perfect season for renewal! Here’s Sister Mary’s mid-week pick-me-up for the “mini-retreat” that will refresh your soul throughout Lent. Here’s a list of all of the weeks’s posts.

By Sister Mary Core, OSB

Such confidence Jesus has in us, as he proclaims:  “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5: 14-16)

I‘ve been repeating that phrase every day this Holy Week, and on Wednesday, as I was thinking of entering into the Triduum (the 3 days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday), I sensed God saying: Continue Reading

Mid-Week #6: Persevere!


The word “Lent” actually literally means Springtime, the perfect season for renewal! Here’s Sister Mary’s mid-week pick-me-up for the “mini-retreat” that will refresh your soul throughout Lent. Here’s a list of all of the weeks’s posts.

By Sister Mary Core, OSB

We’ve all heard the old adage: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” It’s that perseverance and determination on the part of the blind Bartimaeus that so endears this man to me. Continue Reading

Palm Sunday: Serious about Following Jesus?


By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

We began this series of gospel reflections noting that Jesus’ particular geographical place helps illustrate his message. The desert, for instance, means barrenness, while the mountaintop means nearness to God.

Today’s Gospel readings move from the entrance to Jerusalem, where children (filled with new life and joy) run to meet Jesus with their palm branches, to the Skull (the place where Jesus – and other criminals – meet their death). Continue Reading

4th Sunday of Lent: Who – and Where – are You?


By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, his final destination.

He  passes through towns and villages, teaching people what they must do to be saved.

He has shared the parables of the lost – the lost coin and the lost sheep, and now he shares the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke  15:1-3, 11-32).

The Prodigal Son is perhaps one of the best known Gospel stories. The reason, of course, is that all of us are prodigal heirs of God, and apt to lose our way. Continue Reading

3rd Sunday of Lent: Who do You Shun”?


By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

As we have seen, Scriptures often use geographical sites to convey messages. On the 1st Sunday, for instance, Jesus was tempted with abundant power, prestige and possessions while in the desert where he had nothing at all. On the 2nd Sunday, he went to the mountain to demonstrate the new law.

Today’s Gospel (John 4:5-42) takes place at the water well. Jesus is tired and has sat down. Continue Reading