The Good Samaritan Sisters who founded St Joseph’s ordered their lives according to The Rule of St Benedict. The whole theme of the Rule is that each of us is the unique son or daughter of a loving Father, but each of us has gone astray. Without noticing it, I was part of the great dualistic system of the Western world that splits the world between the holy and the profane, the sacred and the ordinary. When Benedict talks to me about handling with care, about reverence and respect for material things, he does it in a way that is immediate and specific, and therefore difficult to evade. It is the nature of Benedictine life to listen intently and respond faithfully to the needs of every era, qualities that have enabled the charism to remain relevant for more than 1,500 years. We did this first in Johannesburg then in Cape Town. I think it is very close to the terms in which the “New Science” also speaks. We neglected it, but now we will return to it as our vision and guide to deepen our community life in our very ordinary small market town. Merton didn’t believe that we come to God through the truncation of our humanity but through the wholeness of our humanity. They are located at their monastery in Clyde, Missouri. There is a real prophetic person. It’s so full of images, and images get to us, not intellectually to our minds but to our hearts which is the essence of our self. Located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, the Sisters give witness to God's presence through communal life, prayer, and work. I saw this vividly in Johannesburg. Esther de Waal lives in a small cottage on the Welsh/English border. The charism entrusted to Benedictines is the call to seek God in cenobitic (monastic) community, to praise God through prayer and ministry, and to listen with eagerness to the Spirit’s call into the un-known future. Any moment can be the moment. History. They say they are allowed to feel and live the way they deep down always wanted to live. What does the Benedictine charism offer to today’s world? I don’t want to say “primitive.” That would sound prejudicial and critical. Novice Oblates will be meeting on-line. That is the wonderful thing about the Rule and about Benedict himself, the freshness, the freedom, the sanity, the broadness, and the healthiness of the Benedictine life.” This man gives us a sign, a promise and a challenge as much today as when the Rule was written. This is one of the reasons I can hear him and find him unthreatening. 1970). I dealt in words, not in the visual, not in images. So I picked up the Rule of St. Benedict to know something of the minds, hearts and vision of the men who had built the building that surrounded me, indeed the very house in which I lived with my husband and four teenage sons. The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict, are a monastic religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Benedict. Ordinary lay people are given this grace by the very fact of this place in which we worship. It will be published later in America. Liturgy of the Hours. Sister Sylvia Ahr. He recognized that all the senses, particularly the senses of sight, sound and touch can teach us much. We formed a temporary lay community which drew its inspiration from the insights of St. Benedict. Charism and Mission. When you wash a dish or pick up litter, you are the altar. Retreats. Items must be picked up at the Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA 20136 between 1:00-4:00 PM Monday-Friday. It is precisely because he has such a grasp of the human psyche and how it works that he can touch us with practical wisdom and insight. Benedictine Monasticism: its formation and development through the 12th century (New York : Sheed and Ward, 1965; repr. The low-gluten breads are produced in a separate facility in order to prevent cross-contamination. For those of us who are living outside monastic communities, we expect that form to change throughout our lives, involving overlapping circles as we are inserted into a succession of relationships, including relationships with the non-human. But their presence through their prayers is still with us. Statements from Catholic Sisters on Peace and Justice Issues; Death Penalty; Human Trafficking in South Dakota; Our History. She leads retreats, lectures, and travels widely. Since then Benedict has been a continuing power and person in my life. The Rule takes me back to something early, primal and universal. Mission Statement We, the Sisters of Saint Benedict, Crookston, Minnesota, are monastic women committed to living the Gospel and the […] Any place can be the place.” He led them to see the image so powerfully given in the buildings themselves, that all these daily activities would be impossible were it not for the heart of the monastic building– the empty space of the cloister. Through our community life we give witness to Christianity genuine lived. There is a sweeping tide of interest in spirituality which, in my most cynical moments, I think is making a spirituality one more consumer product, an offer of in-built success. This is one of the great things about this text. There was no idea in my upbringing that God would be pleased if I helped my mother in the kitchen handling ordinary things like the dishes. They express how much he lived out of the Rule. Pray with Us. He learned those relations with his body and the world about him produced joy, openness and dialogue. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram! Benedict wants energy for us. It’s about community life in whatever shape or form that may take. "The Benedictine Charism Today" (ABCU essay; 26 April 1995). So we stay with this image of holding the pot, not merely as a vessel but as something to be handled with care. And people, with amazement, say how liberating and natural this is. Prayer Request. Above all he wants the church and society to get behind the divide, the dualities, the divisions and the splits to that centeredness by which we can hold things together. Charism Statement. Our missionary service is permeated by the Benedictine spirituality; prayer is the foundation of our missionary work and makes it fruitful. We seek to welcome others as they are. He didn’t know that I was interested in monastic tradition. Benedict has this great gift with phrases. The whole image of tending a garden and of the changing seasons of the garden is written out there. Each person is unique. The chapel, the kitchen, the refectory and so on run off the foreside. I choose these words carefully. When things go wrong there has to be gentle handling. Benedict blows this sky high when he says that our handling of things can come out right only if the starting point is the right attitude. In my case, this has applied particularly to my sons as they grow up. While writing a book on Merton using his photos, I saw that you’ve just got to stay with the simplicity of his vision, standing in front of piece of wood and some stones, which we otherwise might easily pass by. The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are a congregation of sisters that follow the Rule of St. Benedict and have a Eucharistic charism. Some are so extraordinary that you have to hold them in your hands, feel the weight of them and live with them. We strive for union with God by being imitators of Christ. Now, in those days I was extremely busy with four boys, ages 12 to 17, and a husband in public life. You buy it, and with it comes the promise of ultimate or even instant success. This is also true of Benedict. There must be unity– this theme is a keynote– between the exterior and the interior. All the courtesy of love is a wonderful phrase for explaining how you handle people. All the senses are to be valued. Find us at https://benedictine-sisters-of-virginia.square.site/s/shop The online store is open for business through December 21st or while supplies last. They are women who have responded to the call to live in community according to the Gospel and the Rule of St. Benedict. Yet, they were made with beautifully cut stone, set in rounded arches to carry the lead pipes. EXTANT Newsletters. Then I came to understand that that is the real thing. RB 1980 The Rule of St Benedict in Latin and English with Notes, edited by Tim Fry and published by the Liturgical Press, Collegeville in 1981, is one of those books I love to hate. He was totally present to the person or thing before him. “Here is a wonderful tool. It is how we do the little actions that makes us mindful of God or our neighbor.”. S NAMI BOH! Our Charism, Mission and Core Values. So I say primal, universal, fundamental, existing not only in the church but in each of us. Monastery Photos. Prayer Request. Welcome to our congregation of Missionary Benedictine sisters of Tutzing What is secret and hidden about Apartheid elsewhere is clearly revealed here. It is compelling to me that Benedict always speaks in totally practical terms. And then comes this important connection: The way we handle things and the way we handle people are related. It is prophetic for our time and for what the next millennium is going to give us. Benedict’s respect and reverence for the unity of body, mind and spirit was set out before my eyes. The people who came to live, work and pray together were drawn from all the divides of the South African church– Dutch Reformed, Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholic– and from the racial divides– black, colored and white. 673). (A charism is a gift from God to be shared with the world). There, surely, is that image of the empty space at the heart of the monastic buildings, and of our own self too. Vocations. History. He is telling us about attitude, about the attitude of detachment– or better non-attachment. In that sermon, the priest told them, “When you stand at the kitchen stove, that is the center; that is the altar. Without that emptiness, the wheel won’t turn. Angel, Oregon. Benedict tells us to handle the things of the kitchen, the pantry, the garden, with as much love, reverence and respect as the sacred vessels of the altar. Liturgical Schedule. While I was growing up, I was very conscious of splits and parties within the church. I was also shaped by the split of 1098, the schism which severed the West from the great Eastern theological traditions. And every single thing matters, which is why Benedict says something very profound in an almost absurd, throw-away line: “If anything gets broken or damaged in the pantry, own up at once.” Own up at once because every single thing matters. No, I have to let them go free. Benedictine Charism. The Abbot hands out the work tools to the brothers, and he keeps a list, recognizing that these items are on loan and that everything matters. Anti-RB 1980: Is there truly a Benedictine charism? The Benedictine Sisters visit each class twice in Monastic Meetings to tell about the Benedictine charism, the history of the Sisters, and Benedictine Saints, including Saints Benedict, Scholastica and Gertrude. He asked me to do in South Africa what I had done in England, and to some extent in America. Charism The Sisters of Saint Benedict of Crookston, Minnesota, are women of Gospel vision seeking God in community through a balance of prayer, study, work and leisure according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others he is babbling ceaselessly. The Benedictine Charism Today. by Esther de Waal, © 1995 by Esther de Waal. Although I didn’t realize its implications at the time, I also had begun to follow that simple movement of illumination that begins to mend these splits and divides, that heals the tragic divisions in my self, my thinking and my whole approach to the church and the world. They built these tunnels with enormous care and skill. I was “moozingoo,” which means feeling an enormous amount of pressure whirling about. The texture and the relationship speak to him. “The Benedictine Sisters of Erie seek to uphold the Benedictine charism of peace in any and all situations, especially in response to the escalating tensions with Iran,” said Sister Anne Wambach, Prioress. Our Benedictine Heritage; The Rule of Saint Benedict; Our Name and Logo; Meet Our Sisters. Sisters in Watertown. PHILOSOPHY - CHARISM - MISSION. They find many things in the institutional church difficult, but they still find a deep longing within themselves. In recent years, I’ve come to much appreciation of Thomas Merton. Path to Profession. About 15 years ago when my husband went to be the dean of Canterbury Cathedral, we went to live in the cottage that goes with being an Anglican priest in England. He loved and respected food and wanted it to be carefully served with reverence. I have to handle them with care, respect and with all courtesy of love. I knew where the herb garden was and what had been the infirmary and the guest house. In that monastery, the cloister is an inner cloister garth or garden. Since the Abbot is the exemplar of Christ for the brothers, I see that Christ has lent me all the good things in my life. Pray with Us. This holistic approach recognizes the importance of the whole of ourselves, body, mind and spirit, and the rhythm by which we let it be part of our daily life. And there at the base of it all, anchoring it, was the church telling us that everything must flow into prayer. There was no sense of the right-hand side of the brain. Guests: clydeguests@benedictinesisters.org Prayer Request: sister@benedictinesisters.org Group Tours: tours.clyde@bspa.us. This is the start of the healing process for these damaged people as they come here, and it begins just as soon as they cross this threshold.” I found it so moving that I went to my bag to get the trauma center’s simple logo, which pictures prison bars where the bars have become flowering branches with the promise of new life. Put another way, how does The Rule of St. Benedict and the vision of St. Benedict speak to us today, particularly to lay people like myself? Somebody needs healing, handle him as you would a pot where you have to scrape off the rust, very gently so you don’t crack it. I went back after Christmas to have continuing conversations with people whom I had gotten to know well. Ordinary people at the end of the 20th Century.” Throughout Lent there has been teaching, study and discussion at this parish. “To that end, the community releases a statement calling on all people to promote peace by being peace-makers that resist all forms of violence and destruction.” When you lie in your bed, your bed becomes the altar. Nobody would have seen them. To live the charism of Benedictine spirituality and extend those gifts for service promoting the reign of God Oblates must attend a minimum of one meeting per year in order to maintain membership. Seeing an old workbench with a nail and all the scars of that battered wood, he stands back and lets it express itself in its own voice. Today, the Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery combine monastic community with an active role in civic life. Address to the Illinois Benedictine College Community He greeted me saying, “This place is, in itself, healing. And so, we have this picture of the open door depending on the cloister, whether it is written out in the monastic buildings and lived out in a strictly monastic community, or whether it is the principle by which we live that openness, that unity, refusing to be filled up which leads to exhaustion, tiredness, depression. St. Martin Monastery is a community of 21 Benedictine women in Rapid City, South Dakota. They returned saying, “This is given to us, too, at a parish. I was trying to do a little historical work, when I could fit it in while running a vast house. Follow us on Vocations Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our missionary service is permeated by the Benedictine spirituality; prayer is the foundation of our missionary work and makes it fruitful. It is the cloister, the enclosure, that holds everything together. I was on a visit to Africa when I came across it. Imagine with me this simple monastic building built from a very simple courtyard. The Sisters serve where the church is in need; we proclaim the Gospel among the people who do not know Christ, and where Christ is not sufficiently known. This empty space of the cloister garden is symbolic of something that runs all the way through the Rule, and that is the emptiness of the individual before God’s constant presence. There was the scriptorium, expressing respect for the intellect, for extending and challenging the mind. The cells above look down into the central open space. To grow in knowledge of the Boerne Benedictine Sisters’ mission and heritage. If you haven’t yet discovered Merton, you’re very lucky for great riches await you. However, my reaction is entirely different when profound theological teachings and spiritual insights are given in the context of real-life situations or through portraits of ordinary people. To seek God is our overriding ultimate goal. Benedictine sisters, discerning about their future, chose to build a monastery on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Merton writes: “There is nothing whatsoever of the ghetto spirit in St. Benedict. By some connection that we don’t recognize, the willingness to exploit on e becomes the willingness to exploit the other. What was it that I experienced as I walked through the cloisters or past the granary, the brew house or the bake house at the end of the garden? Find a Sister. Instead, you are told that when you take your shoes off, you put them parallel to each other and not pigeon-toed, that you should close the door behind you quietly, that you should walk calmly and eat slowly and leave things ready for the next person to use. We, the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, as monastic women are called to seek God in community through prayer and ministry. For me that image was movingly expressed when I managed to get to Subiaco 18 months ago. The charism is both flexible and stable. A Benedictine spirituality is based upon three vows: prayer, obedience and stability. This is a simple statement which drives our daily lives and reminds us to what we are committed. Show all posts. Stanley Rother Wagner, OSB July 17, 2018 I had the opportunity to spend a week in June at Saint Anselm Abbey in Manchester, New Hampshire for the annual Junior Summer School for Benedictine monks who have made simple vows. I trust you can understand that I received this vivid text about the cellarer as a wonderful word. They felt the warmth, the love and the care in the guest house, which made every meal a loving and sharing experience and built a gentle friendship between the guests and the community. Those hours before dawn enfolded him in the gentleness of the world around his hermitage. The Benedictine Sisters of Erie trace their beginnings to the Benedictine nuns at St. Walburg Abbey in Eichstätt, Bavaria, Germany, founded in 1035. This ring, of which I’m particularly fond, is a piece of a jet which I picked up on the beach at Whitby. 4:17). I’m fond of this thing I’m wearing because it reminds of New Mexico and Native American traditions. I am ready to listen, to hear and to follow. Path to Profession. And Benedict spoke to African consciousness because of this wonderful African concept of “ubunto.” It’s untranslatable, but Desmond Tutu expresses it with his favorite saying, “A person is a person in relation to other people.” The South Africans were excited by what the Rule could give them. The love of Christ impels us, above all, to solidarity with the poor and oppressed and to have an open heart for their needs. Sisters in Watertown. The title, A Life Giving Way, says something of the energy, vigor and the vibrancy St. Benedict has brought to me. It’s a parish that was a Benedictine power in the Middle Ages. If I tell you there were 47 stone steps in the spiral staircase leading to the top of the house and that the house had not been modernized in any great way, you will realize that life there could be quite hard. Logo Description. Liturgical Life. We believe, as St. Benedict says, that All guests … are to be welcomed as Christ. Benedict touches a deep and universal truth which traditional peoples know. Together they seek God in a balanced life of prayer and work, simplicity, hospitality, and service. We, the sisters of Queen of Heaven Monastery, have chosen to respond to God's call and to witness to the gospel values through our Benedictine vows. It’s impossible to care for each other more or differently than we care for the earth. 1.9K likes. Again, Benedict gives us a specific example from a particular time and place– behavior in choir. Vocations. This includes the earth, everything. We have all these good things to share with the whole of God’s family. Benedict says enough sleep is very important. Can it be that this tiny Rule, written some 1500 years ago for men in rural Italy, is still vibrant, life-giving and relevant? When I first picked up the Rule one sentence leapt out at me. I think this language comes close to the new consciousness Bede Griffiths, OSB has stood for during the many years of his monastic life. I believe that in Benedict we find a man with vision and practical wisdom whom we can hear because he speaks out of his personal experiences. This important spiritual guide for living in community was written around 1500 years ago and is a central text of western monasticism. Community History. Original publish at http://www.osb.org/acad/dewaal1.html. The Rule of St. Benedict, like the Celtic tradition which has enriched what Benedict gives me, takes me behind and beyond the divisions that shaped me. They are only on loan, and they’ve got to be returned. The good friend who lent him his camera, John Howard Griffin, a remarkable journalist, said that the way Thomas Merton focused on people was also the way he focused on things. In those hermitage years, he was nurtured by long periods of silence, getting up at two in the morning to pray. It moves me to think of Hilda of Whitby. Baptists and Presbyterians were pretty dreadful; Anglo-Catholics were highly suspect; Roman Catholics were beyond the pale. But that meant nothing to any of its people until a year ago when the rector and his wife spent two weeks in a Benedictine community in Normandy. I recently and movingly experienced the power of that inner cloister, that inner garth or garden, when I went back to South Africa. At one point, I determined to pray longer and in greater discomfort than my younger sister. Exploitation of one leads to exploitation of the other. St. Benedict teaches us in images. There’s an uncanny resemblance between our behavior towards each other and our behavior towards things and our behavior towards the earth. For the Benedictine, there is no community life without the liturgical life. As I walked around the cloister, I saw all the buildings that depended on the cloister. And not the least, I explored a marvelous succession of underground tunnels through which an enterprising 12th century prior brought piped water to the monastic community. At times I’ve lived guided by others expectations. Sisters A thru D. Sisters E thru J. Sisters K thru M. Sisters N thru Y. Obituaries. ~Respond to the critical needs of society with emphasis on the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed.

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