Category Archives: Benedictine Spirituality

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The Messy Middle: Where Change Happens

The Messy Middle: Where Change Happens In the Benedictine Center office, we’ve been talking about Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong (Random House, 2015). She makes that point that, if we want to experience real growth and change in our lives, we can’t skip the “messy middle” part of our stories. The first pass at such an observation…
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Benedict and Change

Benedict and Change Book vendors and websites are loaded with titles touting self-help themes of all kinds. Our current culture seems to be one that wants a different shape, a different nose, a different attitude, or a different belief. So, no matter what kind of change one is seeking, there is an author who has…
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Benedict’s Wisdom for Change and Transition

Benedict’s Wisdom for Change and Transition We stand in a long line of Benedictines who have seen the needs of society and people of God and adapted our way of living to serve more effectively. Take, for instance, the shift from a completely cloistered life in Europe to one of teaching in the early days…
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Life, A Continuous Advent

According to Saint Benedict, “The life of a monastic ought to be a continuous Lent.” However, what Benedict presents is life as a continuous Advent. We can confidently stand ready and raise our heads because our redemption is at hand.
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Change IS Possible

Change IS Possible People can’t change.  If I had a dollar for every time I have heard these words uttered, I’d have a pretty hefty savings account. It wasn’t until I recently heard my sixteen-year old niece proclaim them that I knew I’d had enough.  I responded, “Honey, if I didn’t believe people could change,…
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The Hospitable Lathe

The Hospitable Lathe “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ ….” Rule of Benedict 53:1 My daughter, Katie, would impress you on several levels: a quick smile, a quicker wit, a keen sense of justice, lotsa’ golden hair, and a dynamic creative spirit. Part of her creativity also involves making things—drawing,…
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Becoming Real: Questions that Move Us Toward Our Best Selves

Eily Marlow serves as the Program Associate for Vocation and Reflection in the Center for Civic Engagement at Macalester College. Along with Kiely Todd Roska, Eily is facilitating the upcoming event “Being Real: Practicing Authenticity, Courage, and Humility in Everyday Life” (Thurs., Nov. 9, 9a-3p). Learn more and register online. Being Real Questions that Move…
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Row Your Boat: A Nursery Rhyme and Metaphor for Life

From time to time, the Benedictine Center invites guest writers to reflect on their own spiritual journeys in ways that might be of encouragement to others. This reflection is written by Jim Dawson, an Oblate and friend of St. Paul’s Monastery. Having told this story many times in person, he now offers his version of…
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Reflections on Food as a Tangible Form of Love

I want to feed people the way she did because eating is, as our fall guest speaker Norman Wirzba writes, “a profoundly spiritual act.” What we eat and how we eat—both individually and collectively—reflect our gratitude, our stewardship, our generosity, our joy, and our love.
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Desire, Perseverance, Making Our Way: Reflections from the Monastic Retreat

Desire, Perseverance, Making Our Way Reflections from the Monastic Retreat On a Sunday evening in mid-June, the annual Community Retreat began at St. Paul’s Monastery.  The Sisters assembled in their usual places in the glowing Chapel, lit by the summer sky in the clerestory windows, joined by several Oblates, Benedictine Associates, and me.  The white…
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