When I’ve traveled to a new place, I usually prefer to linger in one area and get to know it well — whether that’s hanging out by a cabin beside a lake, or walking around a friend’s neighborhood in San Francisco. In one afternoon at the Smithsonian, a new friend and I looked carefully at just the roomful of Madonnas with child, just to observe the iconography of animals in the margins and to notice changes in the style and themes over the centuries. Continue Reading
Lately I’ve felt bombarded from within and from without with the awareness of many options, all of them a lot of work to cultivate. And I’m heavily aware, with the particular ferocity that arrives in middle age, that “things could be better” — that things are not promising and hopeful as they were in one’s younger years. Continue Reading
Benedictine Oblates tend not to be computer people. We are not particularly excited by the possibilities of our technological age. We generally prefer books in print. Prayer in quiet times and places is preferable in the main to surfing the internet. A walk, in almost any weather, is preferable to sitting at a computer, which too many of us find necessary to our livelihoods. Still, the internet does exercise some allure for the average oblate, however cantankerous and averse to technology. Continue Reading
More reflections from Cynthia — nourishment for any new or reaffirmed resolutions we might consider as we approach a New Year in the middle of our Christmas celebrations of God’s incarnation. Here is Cynthia’s experienced wisdom about how to keep perspective and a sabbath sensibility, even when work responsibilities threaten to knock us out of sync with a sense of God’s presence:
I have learned that all work matters and contributes to the life of community. Working life has a rhythm in which certain work rises as other recedes; then, the process ebbs in the other direction. Some work can be temporarily suspended or delayed if a more urgent need arises. All work is interruptable. Continue Reading
Happy New Year. Welcome to Presidential Campaign 2012. Angry is the new happy.
The Occupy Wall Street folks are angry at corporations. The Tea Party is angry at the government. The American public is angry at the Muslim world. The Muslim world is angry at the United States. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are angry at everybody–especially Barack Obama. Barack Obama is angry at congress. Continue Reading
Often, I fall into the trap of asking, “Why, God?” Why am I here, at this place, at this time? Why do these things happen to me and to those whom I love? Why can’t those I love make better choices? Why do bad things happen? Why do good things happen? Why am I me and not someone else more or less fortunate?
Instead of lectio this morning, I decided to visit the oblate blog and noticed a theme stretching across both Ric’s account of Abbot General Notker Wolf’s reflections at an international oblate gathering, and Sister Ruth’s reflections on inserting a verse about the whole earth belonging to God into her reading of a psalm. That theme is both challenge and promise: the challenge of living in a world of innumerable sufferings with a regular sense of the presence of God. Continue Reading
By Sr. Ruth Ksycki, OSB
“The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” (Psalm 33) This line was the responsorial psalm for the first reading from Ephesians 3:14-21 last week. As I was doing lectio, I decided to try Sr. Irene Nowell’s method of interspersing the response in between the verses of the reading. (Sr. Irene was the presenter at our Oblate Day this year, for those who missed our annual – and wonderful – gathering.) Continue Reading
The topic of discussion yesterday in my Sunday School class was “social justice.” We are reading Ronald Rohlheiser’s book “The Holy Longing.” He makes a point of the difference between charity and justice: charity being how we give from our generosity to those in need, and justice being how we try to change the systems that create poverty and alienation. Continue Reading
At an oblate meeting this week, I found myself wondering how we who are oblates often relate to the Benedictine way more as a beacon of light to gaze upon than as something that can take the measure of our own lives. Continue Reading