Fra Angelico Predella Alterpiece left panel

All Saints

The season of Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The turning of the seasons gives us a wonderful visual experience of the beauty of God’s creation. Many years ago, I was blessed to have a sabbatical experience in the northeast, outside Boston, in Dover, Massachusetts. The…

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An oil painting by Eustache Le Sueur with the name "Jesus heals the blind man"

Master, That I May See

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” (Helen Keller). This week as I used the readings for the Thirtieth Sunday of the Year for my prayer and lectio, I was moved by the ardent faith…

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Sister Kathleen's hot cross buns

Love Fasting

“Love fasting” (RB 4:13) may be the shortest verse in the entire Rule, but it is one that I find myself stumbling over every time it is read either aloud in community or in my own personal reading. Nestled among the long list of “Tools for Good Works” that makes…

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old loom

An Unexpected Encounter

It was one of those days when you happen to be driving in a neighboring town, and suddenly something catches your eye. You find yourself pulling to the curb, and before you know it, you are out of the car heading into a shop. That was the day I met…

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Fall dogwood leaves

Autumn Surrender

Without a doubt, autumn has always been my favorite season of the year. As a young child, I remember walking home from school, mesmerized with the appearance of the trees flaunting their radiant yellow, flaming red, and vibrant orange leaves. I would run excitedly into the house to tell my…

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Avenue of the Oaks, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL

Old Trees and Old People

I am renewed by long hikes through the woods or even brief walks around the block. Weather permitting, I’m out every morning for a 30-45-minute walk in the neighborhood, enjoying the sights, sounds and scents of the changing seasons. Wherever I am walking, though, I’m captivated by the very old…

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Holy Cross relic in stand before the altar

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

One of the things I have appreciated most about my Benedictine formation is the way in which it has expanded my knowledge and appreciation of the liturgical aspects of our Catholic faith. Even though I attended daily Mass before entering my community, I was not aware of the fullness of…

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Cracked stained glass

Flaws and All

St. Benedict begins Chapter Four of his Rule with the famous passage “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength… and your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31, NABRE 2010). What strikes me every time I meditate on…

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Novices Veronica Ryan and Marie Leonard at recreation

Reflections on 60 Years of Monastic Life

Sixty years ago, as the family was on the way to drop me off at the convent, I lit up my last cigarette. (Remember, this was the sixties and smoking was in vogue.) After one puff, my brother pulled it out of my hand and threw it out the window…

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St. Monica

St. Monica: Woman of Prayer

In my 45+ years of serving in education and pastoral ministry, I frequently have had the privilege of journeying with people who were dealing with difficult marriages or difficulties with their children. When they share about their children, they often reflect on how hard they have tried to do everything…

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