Category Archives: Benedictine Spirituality

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Triduum: Jesus Models Essence and Service

Through the Triduum and Easter, Jesus provides a roadmap for the spiritual path of transformation. His actions model how we might live more deeply from our souls in ways that lead to service. He shows us a path from living out of the karmic self of the ego into the Kriya action of Essence.
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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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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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Radical Hospitality

Radical Hospitality At our food pantry, we have a children’s corner. It is filled with books and toys for the children to play and even choose something to bring home. One evening, little James waved me over to meet his new purple stegosaurus. He explained, “See the missing eye? He’s been through a lot. I’ve…
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A Day with Ministry on the Margins

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to befriend someone who had spent time in prison? S. Paula Hagen OSB has an experience to share about volunteering with S. Kathleen Atkinson OSB, who is coming soon to the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery.
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The School of Lectio Divina: An Invitation to Abundance

By the mid-point of the School of Lectio I wrote this in my journal, “I have fallen in love with Scripture as prayer!”  It was as if God and I were rekindling an old friendship on a long weekend retreat together.  I was learning anew what it might look like to trust God enough to live a life completely surrendered to God.
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Can Small Acts of Courage and Compassion Really Save the World?

Can Small Acts of Courage and Compassion Really Save the World? I have to be honest. I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to all-encompassing spiritual proclamations. You could call me a “yes, but…” doubting Thomas-type person when conversations get a bit “spirited” or overly idealistic. And my friends and I sometimes do…
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