View of the yard and lake behind the main monastery building

Letting Silence Speak

In preparing a talk for a retreat group on the topic of Benedictine silence, I was led to reconsider St. Benedict’s perspective on silence. In the fifth century there were no electronic gadgets or internal combustion engines to fill his environment with sights and sounds to distract or attract one’s…

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Sacred Heart Monastery grounds

God Waits to be Sought

Rabbi Baruch’s grandson, Yechiel, went outside to play with the neighborhood children. They took turns playing hide-and-seek. When it was Yechiel’s turn to hide, he found a nearby place and waited to be discovered by one of the boys. After a long wait, he peeked out of his hiding place…

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Sister Emilie ironing church linens

Sister Emilie

On May 24, 2024 the monastic community gathered in the Infirmary for a special Eucharistic celebration in honor of Sister Emilie Schmitt’s 75th anniversary of her monastic profession. Abbot Marcus Voss, OSB from St. Bernard Abbey and cousin to Sister Emilie was the celebrant. As many as possible gathered in…

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A child smelling a flower

Whoever Receives Me…

Doing Lectio one morning this week, I was struck by the use of the pronoun, “it” for a child in Mark’s Gospel, “Taking a child, he placed it in their midst.” I had never noticed this before, or rather, it flowed past me as I focused on other things. My…

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Silent reflections on the monastery lake

Reconsidering Silence

After hours fighting Monday traffic on the interstate, I arrived at the monastery grounds. I contemplated the old post and rail fence-lined lane thick with sycamores, dogwoods, magnolias, and blooming azaleas of pink, red, orange, and purple. The road narrowed and as I slowed down, I spotted the brown brick…

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Ressurection image at the empty tomb

Woman: A Light in the Darkness

As part of a prayer service entitled “Woman: Light in the Darkness,” Anita G. Willoughby wrote her reflection on Mary’s Magnificat as found in Luke 1:46ff. Anita gave me permission to share this with you. Vision of a Woman in Ministry/ Woman: A Light in the Darkness There was a…

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A Scattering of foreign coins to be sorted

The Dead Sisters’ Money

In the last few weeks, one of the projects I have undertaken has been to consolidate and organize the remnants of the community’s coin collection. The major portion of this and the stamp collection were sold in 2010, and the proceeds went toward the renovation expenses. I was somewhat surprised…

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Tracing bird images

Tracing the Image

A favorite thing for me to do on a rainy day when I was young was to trace images from books. My family had a small collection of treasured books in our home, and my favorite to trace from was a large edition of photographed birds of the world. Laying…

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From the outdoor Stations of the Cross, Station 9 Jesus Falls the Third Time

Facing a Future I Did Not Choose

How many of you have felt as if God did not get the memo regarding your preferred future? Starting at an early age, many of us dream, rationalize and strategize about the course our life should take to reach the ultimate goal of happiness, peace and fulfillment. Understandably those dreams…

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Monastic Community gathered for the Liturgy of the Hours

The Work of God

The woman sat straight in her chair in the ICU waiting room, flanked by her two adult daughters. Her hair was in a grey bun. She wore no makeup or jewelry, only a homemade gingham dress. Her appearance sharply contrasted the smartly-suited medical specialist who came in to speak to…

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