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Finding Unexpected Treasure in Lectio Divina

Finding Unexpected Treasure in Lectio Divina When I was encouraged to  attend the School of Lectio Divina, I was drawn to the idea, but I also had some hesitation. I was somewhat familiar with lectio divina (literally “divine reading”) as an ancient practice of praying with scripture, and I had experienced lectio divina in its…
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Reflection for the Feast of St. Joseph

Reflection for the Feast of St. Joseph This reflection was prepared by S. Paula Hagen OSB for the prayer of the Monastic Community. I feel very blessed to be asked to reflect on the liturgy for this feast day. I grew up with the Sisters of St. Joseph, so we celebrated this feast day with…
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And Yet the Cardinal Sings

And Yet the Cardinal Sings . . . The weight of the world felt very heavy this morning as I walked in the pre-dawn fog and gloom through the deserted park near my house. It was as if the suffering of a world-turned-upside-down was hanging in the air with every pregnant water droplet in the…
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Making Friends with My Body

Making Friends with My Body When I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in my late 40’s, I had been having back pain, overall soreness and sometimes just feeling exhausted for several years.  I had been to various doctors, orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists and athletic trainers and no one could do anything for me.  I…
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Overwintering

Gardening slows my mind as my hands work, allowing for random thoughts to surface; some profound, most not very. I think it must be the touching of the earth that energizes these thoughts and brings them into focus. But perhaps it is just the time apart that draws me deeper into a pondering space.
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Writing from the Center | Revision: Writing Until You Find Your Meaning

One of the exciting aspects of writing is the process of discovery also known as revision.  An idea or image comes to mind, and we sit down to describe it because we want to remember it or share with others. Yet, it often happens that as we write, what seemed so clear and evident at first seems to fade. Or we suddenly find numerous threads of ideas with no pattern.  When that happens, just keep writing until you come to whatever feels like the end.  At this point you are ready to embrace the process of revision – the nearly magical process of discovery. Like a sculptor standing before a block of marble, you chip away at the mass of words on the paper or screen.
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Divine Sparks: Kindling the Fires of Ministry

Divine Sparks Kindling the Fires of Ministry Dr. Barbara Sutton, Director of Ministerial Formation and Field Education and a member of the faculty at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary, was a visiting scholar with the Benedictine Center for 2017-2018. This reflection follows Dr. Sutton’s webinar by the same title, available online. Divine Sparks…
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More Than a Stained Glass Window Jesus

Sayers reminds us that the people who surrounded Jesus in the Gospels were real people who had their own lives and concerns.  They encountered Him within a specific time and specific cultural pressures.  They made choices about Him with the little information they had – unlike us, who know the end of the story.  Caiaphas and Pilate did not condemn Jesus to death so they could fulfill prophecy, but as an expedient way to protect their own interests in unstable times.
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Quiet Nativity

I wondered how to do it differently this year,  How could I move through the holidays with gratitude rather than resentment, with a sense of peace even in the midst of activity?  After all, Jesus was born into the very messiness of human life, not into a place where all was neatly prepared and ready.  I longed to carry the Christ child in my heart this Advent season, but there was simply no room in the Inn. And so, that first evening, as we all sat in prayer, I asked God for the gift of peace.  I prayed that, in the space between gently released thoughts, the veil might be lifted from my eyes and Christ enter in. . . .
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Dignity: An Uncomfortable Lesson in Hospitality

Dignity: An Uncomfortable Lesson in Hospitality Several years ago, I learned an uncomfortable lesson about hospitality. I was working in a congregation-based shelter for families experiencing homelessness in St. Paul. Because the 55 beds that Ramsey County had in its shelter were always full, congregations acted as “overflow shelters,” housing up to 20 people each…
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