Archive for September, 2011

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Posted by admin On September - 6 - 2011

Contentment

I was just sitting in the livingroom reading and a sense of complete contentment came over me. I have those moments from time to time-the sense of being right where you are supposed to be. Unfortunately they don’t happen often or last long enough. But maybe they aren’t supposed to last. Maybe they are sent by God as “breathers”. You know, short rests between tough chores.

Our garden is on one of the benches that strip mining decades ago left on our property. The monastery, chapel and dorms are on the next level up. To get from the garden to the monastery you either have to climb the 45 degree incline of  the hill or walk the 120 stair steps. I usually take the stairs because I find it easier. When I first started using the stairs I would have to stop and rest every 20 or so steps and take a “breather” to catch my breath and finish the climb. I think that is what these moments of contentment are…opportunities to stop, look around and be at peace before continuing on with the journey

Sometimes I think that I am in the wrong place, that God must have made a mistake about me being here at the Dwelling Place and then I find moments of contentment like I am experiencing this evening and I realize once again that I have listened and obeyed and God is pleased with me.

Contentment-God saying “Yes my child. Now keep going.”

 

BUT HE HAS ALREADY COME

Listening to the prayers and hymns lately during Office have really confused me. We keep talking about “Jesus coming”. The thing is, I’m pretty sure He already did. I know that Advent is a time to reflect on this great work of salvation from God but sometimes it feels like we are expecting some magical event to come fix the world so that we can live happily ever after…sort of a heavenly Disneyworld.

The truth is that God did send His son to live among us and to teach us the way to peace over 2000 years ago. These teachings are written down for us in the Bible. They are simple things; treat others like you want to be treated, choose love instead of hate, take care of the widow, the orphan, the outcast, love God more than yourself. There are more but you have already heard them. Heard them yes, but internalized them so that they are what we do without thinking? I’m afraid I fall way short of that reality. And you know you do too. So we look for the coming of Christ, again.

And I guess that is what we are praying and singing about, because we know deep in our hearts that what Jesus said and did when He walked this earth was the truth and maybe, just maybe, this time it will stick. O come, o come Emmanuel and remind us how to live in peace.

Namaste’

 

WHY ECUMENICAL?

Therefore we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.” RB Prol 45

St. Benedict wrote these words around 540 CE in his famous rule, setting out a format for living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He was writing long before the Protestant Reformation at a time that “the church” was in its adolescence. He had found a way of life that mirrored Jesus’ teachings and he lived it until he took his last breath—reportedly standing with arms raised; chanting the Divine Office.

 Fast forward 1500 years to the hills of easternKentucky. My friend Sr. Kathleen had invited me to Thanksgiving dinner at theDwelling Place.  Curious and hungry for more than turkey and stuffing, I accepted and heard for the first time that the Sisters were in the process of becoming ecumenical. “That means I could come here.” I thought to myself and that night a seed that had been planted forty-five years earlier sent out its first small root soon to be followed by another and another and when, in May of 2009, my home was destroyed in a flood it seemed only logical that I come to stay with the Sisters until other arrangements could be made for my housing.

 On October 15th, I will make my First Profession of Monastic Promises—as a Presbyterian. I am delighted at the prospect and praying for guidance as I speak to my friends and family and anyone else that will listen about the privilege of becoming a Benedictine nun. There are many men and women worldwide who are Christ followers by call but not Roman Catholic. They would jump at the chance to have the support of a community of likeminded God seekers who want only to know and worship God in a nurturing environment. This is such a huge blessing and one I am sure more Protestants would take advantage of if it were offered to them.

 As Benedictine communities around the world look toward the future it is my prayer that they would consider opening their monasteries to their Protestant sisters and brothers, fulfilling Jesus’ prayer, “that they would be one as we are one.” John 17:22

Namaste’        Sr. KC

FERVERINO by Sr. Judy

Posted by admin On September - 6 - 2011

The sounds of the evening and the lingering fog in the morning, these are the mountains way of welcoming the next cycle of our lives. The black-eyed susans in the kitchen garden and the raspberries lovingly picked fill our eyes with beauty.

The long hot summer seems to be giving way and we drink in the coolness of the evening and watch the progress of Lady spider’s web, laced with dew in the morning. Where have the days gone? Retreat and community days atSharon’s brought both closure to one year and planning for the next. The next several months  will be busy ones for the community. An Enneagram workshop, Directional and Goal Setting meetings, Discernment and election of Prioress will see us looking at our past, present and future.

God has blessed us in so many ways. Volunteers, guests, Oblates have showered us with their presence, gifts and hard work. We celebrated the First Monastic Profession of Sr. Kathy DiVaio, have another scheduled in October for Sr. Kathy Curtis, and Laurie Sandblom has joined us as an Associate, beginning her process of discernment.

Last night we sat in the living room and listened to Daniele, our volunteer fromTennesseeplaying Handel arias on her flute. What could be sweeter? Thank you God for all of life and beauty that surrounds us.    Sr. Judy