Benedictine medal in chapel clerestory window

How to Live

How can I become a more active player in my life? Where does my life seem to be heading? Does my life have a real meaning and purpose? These are questions that often come to mind when someone is seeking lasting happiness in life. These are some of the very…

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Aged Magnolia blossom

Hidden Beauty

Nick Woodthorpe taught Social Studies and was the school librarian at McNair Junior High School in suburban Southern California. His classes were held in the library and thirty-six seventh graders clustered six to a table. Our primary interests were listening to our favorite tunes on transistor radios, surfing, riding bikes,…

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Serenity Prayer mug

Grumble Not

During these well-advanced months of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to refrain from grumbling about anything and everything, even in the monastery! Stress and fatigue caused by all that is “not normal” is super-abundant, which makes us more inclined to touchiness and frustration. So often these days we pray…

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Sister Jane’s Good Zeal

If you know our Sister Jane Bishop, you would know that when she sets her mind to accomplishing a project, she puts her whole mind and heart into it. She also has a knack for getting others involved in her endeavors. The roots of her generosity and pastoral hospitality run…

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The Spirit of Wonder and Awe

“Fill them with the Spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.” These words are part of a prayer said over those being confirmed in the Church. I continually pray for the deepening of this gift of the Holy Spirit for myself and for the sick and elderly parishioners among…

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Sister Adrian teaching

Run While You Have the Light of Life

I walked into her room to find her easy chair set up for me with a small tray table in front of it, so I could take notes. She smiled warmly, asking if I had ever seen her room, then proceeded to show me around – from the hand-made window…

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Detail from St. Gertrude Window in SHM Chapel

Listen With The Ear of Your Heart

One of my favorite sentences in the Rule of St. Benedict is found in the Prologue. Obsculta… et inclina auren cordis tui- “Listen…and incline the ear of your heart.”  Benedict wants his followers to listen with the ear of their heart. It is interesting that the most common word for…

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St. Joseph statue

Joseph – A Man for All Seasons

Since this is the Year of St. Joseph it is good to consider from time to time the values portrayed by this great saint. St Joseph is considered a “manly man” and what an example he is to all men. But not just to men – all of us can…

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Pine tree branch and reflection


Humility—not an attractive trait in today’s culture but one that is of utmost importance on the spiritual journey. St. Benedict, in Chapter 7 of his Rule, offers an extensive “Twelve-Step Program” for the cultivation of humility. It is the longest and most spiritually demanding chapter in the Rule. Today’s secular…

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What Is Needed

Getting out of the car, Mom was already looking ahead, scanning the undergrowth that led down to the lake. She had driven us the few miles out of town from where she and Dad lived in Florida to a park we used to go to when I was young. The…

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