Musings on Stability amid Vastness

When do you you most let your life slow down? Is it in lectio? In the evening? In the morning before you begin your active day? When you vacation?

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

Humility as the Scent to Track

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 Oblate's Guide to the Internet

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

Staying on the Front Side of the Beat

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

The New Happy

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

Accessing the Energy of God's Goodness

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

Seeking God … Transforming the World

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