By Sr. Susan Hutchens, OSB
Snow again covers the frozen surface of the pond below the Chapel windows, obliterating the recent hole made by the ice-fisherman last weekend. I have never fished. I don’t care to learn now. But I love to eat fish. Continue Reading
God became one of us. Coming as a baby, Jesus was completely powerless and depended on us. During His life He revealed to us God the Father as Love.
It is hard to believe we have celebrated another Thanksgiving. It is a great feast to celebrate, for a grateful heart is something to nourish … and there is much to be grateful for!
Yesterday I was talking to a women who found us through VISION magazine and was led to our website and blog. She is interested in pursuing her interest in religious life and will come to visit after the Thanksgiving holidays. Continue Reading
As the week cam to an end for the two women visiting the Monastery, it seemed to have been very good. We had a session on Friday about the vows and how they form our life of stability, obedience and conversion of life. On Thursday, we had a session on the life of St. Benedict using photos of Norcia (birthplace), Subiaco (lst community), Rome (student days) and Monte Cassino, where he finished his Rule and died, from Sr. Ruth’s and my time in Italy. Continue Reading
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
As we continue our Lenten experience, the Scripture readings at Eucharist prepare us for the coming Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Jesus talks to the disciples about what will happen to Him. He wants them to ponder all He has taught them over the years together so they have a basis for teaching others when He is no longer present. Continue Reading
“Blessed are they who love the Lord.” Dt.
At Eucharist this morning the reading was from Old Testament Deuteronomy. In the story, Moses spoke to his people right before they were to enter the Promised Land. As they had struggled with being faithful to God during their many challenges, Moses encouraged them to stay faithful as they began their new life in a new land. He implored them to focus only on faithfulness to their One God who had brought them to this moment in time. Continue Reading
Jesus often used images in His teaching to create profound messages. A recent Gospel, for example, used the image of a small mustard seed growing into a sturdy tree. How amazing that from a small kernel grows a large tree! Metaphorically, most of us would have our doubts that something meaningful could come from something so small. Continue Reading
Last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend the Quad City Symphony concert. It was a bold concert, featuring the work of Peter Tchaikovsky. Listening to the many instruments blending together to create the whole work, I thought of God’s work creating each of us.
Like a creative composer, God entwines many movements to bring our lives to this very moment. It is a softness of the strings, the brazen brass, the deep tuba, the breeze of the woodwinds that bring a symphony to life. It is the soft, bold and deep experiences of our lives that lead to God. Continue Reading
This morning as I walked outside on the Monastery patio overlooking the lake before Vespers, I was in awe. The lake was still, hardly a stir, and the fog hugged close to the surface. It was breathtaking.
As I went upstairs to join the Sisters at Lauds (Morning Prayer), the sun began to lighten the darkness ever so subtly. By the time Eucharist began about an hour later, the sun was brilliant, the lake was calm and the fog was gone until another morning. The fall colors vibrated through the woods surrounding our Chapel. Clarity!
It seems to me the issues surrounding our discernment may be as the fog hovering over our inner self. Continue Reading