Inquirers Learn about Monastic Life

This week there are two inquirers at the Monastery experiencing life in community. Both women have been here for shorter periods of time before, but a week gives them an opportunity to really experience the daily rhythm of our lives. One woman is from Wisconsin and finishing her senior year of college.  The second woman is from Illinois and works in a group home for developmentally disabled adults. A third inquirer will join us for the weekend. What they have been discovering is the simplicity – as well as the joy – of monastic life. Continue Reading

Shedding Our Leaves to Grow

Autumn foliage along the Mississippi River, near the Benedictine Sisters St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, Ill.

Read Nancy’s wonderful discernment prayer comparing her life to autumn in “A Time to Plant,” below. Leaves must fall before new growth can begin, she says, and I agree! In our lives we must shed our old leaves in order to grow.

Discernment is a Paschal Mystery walk, where we pray to let go of what we cling to and learn to embrace what God sets before us. What is it in our lives that God is nudging us to change and to move beyond? These difficult inner movements require a listening heart, a trusting heart and an attentive heart. We must die to our desires and comforts in order for God to break through with God’s desires for us.

The Paschal Mystery – Jesus letting go of human life – went beyond the everyday to embrace God’s plan of resurrection and eternal life. Our discernment journey may ask the same of us – to let go of the familiar, the everyday – in order to embrace God’s plan for us. Not an easy journey but a transformative journey – where we are more deeply responding to God’s new life for us.