(image above) from the current exhibit
The Word Became Flesh by DeAnne Parks
Blessed Advent! Enter this season with a retreat, quiet, or enriching conversation like one of those below. You might also consider the Pilgrimage to Wales or take in the new exhibit as a gift to your soul. Read on for details...
|Meditation: To Pause At the Threshold|
|by Esther de Waal
I am presented by the simple reality of the land. It is my mentor, my teacher, and in it I have a guide who can never become theoretical or abstract, for I am learning the wisdom of the earth itself, the ground beneath my feet, the people who settled it and shaped its cultivation.
Above all, living deep in the ordinary side, I am faced with what I could so easily be unaware of in a city: the alternation of light and dark, the changing patterns of the seasons and the years, the ebb and flow of solstice and equinox.
As I return to live [in the Welsh countryside], I find a place, a situation that is both familiar and mysterious. That is right. It should take time for something to reveal itself, to unveil its meaning. Many of us were struck by the way in which, when he was asked a question during a radio interview, Archbishop Rowan Williams said, "May I take a moment?"
For many of us who were listening, accustomed as we had become to the cut and thrust of the quick question and the immediate response in public discussion, this was a defining moment. It reminded us just how important it is to pause, in this as in any other context. It is to recall the role of reverence and respect, in a question, in another person, in a situation.
On the cusp of a new liturgical year, a new calendar year, and an upcoming Benedictine pilgrimage to Wales, Esther de Waal's reflections upon living at the borderlands seem a fine invitation to prayer during Advent. Excerpt from
To Pause At the Threshold (Morehouse Publishing, 2004, p. 7-8).
|Embrace the Sacred Time of Advent|
Enter the sacred time of Advent with plans for a retreat, a spiritual conversation, or even just some quiet.
Seeing the Word: Praying through Advent with The Saint John's Bible
Tuesdays, Dec., 3, 10, and 17, 9-10:30a
S. Virginia Matter OSB
$50 includes materials
This series of guided reflections journeys through Advent praying with three images from The Saint John's Bible. Register online.
How Liturgy Redefines Time
Thurs., Dec. 5, 7-9p
Johan van Parys, Director of Worship and the Sacred Arts at the Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis
While the liturgical year with its seasons and feast days provides a rich drama of God's revelation, it also seeks to shift how we "spend time." Join liturgist and educator Johan van Parys for an insightful beginning to the new liturgical year. Register online.
Entering into Advent Hope:
Creating a Sacred Space for Emmanuel
Sun., Dec. 8, 4-6p
Grounded in the Gospel of Luke, this gentle two hour "mini-retreat" invites participants to a quiet time of contemplation, guided meditation, and ritual which helps open hearts to Emmanuel, God with us. Register online.
Where Does Christ Dwell?
Tues., Dec. 17, 7-9p
Fr. Michael Byron
The belief in Incarnation means that God indeed became human and dwelt among us. But where? The safe answer is "in our hearts." The riskier answer is "in all our relationships, among the aliens in our midst, at the margins, and among those whose habits and sympathies offend you" (poet Scott Cairns). Register online.
and in the season of Christmas
On the Crest of a New Year
Tues., Dec. 31, 10a-8p
S. Carol Rennie OSB and Pat Kilbane Oblate
$50 for the day with meals
$80 for the day, meals, and overnight
When hikers reach the crest of a hill, they pause to consider where they have been even as they look toward the horizon that awaits them. In that spirit, we invite you to spend New Year's Eve Day in a retreat designed to draw on your experiences in 2013 and enter more mindfully into all that waits in 2014. Register online.
|New Exhibit Opens: |
The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us
A Solo Exhibit by DeAnne Parks
exhibit open 9a-6p daily now through Jan. 25
Created between 2006 and 2013, this selection of works by DeAnne L Parks explores Jesus' life and teachings. The artist offers visual encounters with the angel who appeared to Mary and with Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, all of which inspire how we might live as disciples of Christ today. DeAnne writes,
"When I begin painting, I have no idea what the outcome will be. It's like a spontaneous dance. I focus on texture, color and shapes, expressing my feelings at a given moment. In fact, I often dance while painting. Creating art is such a joyful experience that I can't seem to stand still. I use bright colors and thick paint to express themes related to spirituality and human relationships, especially those of community, hope, and love."
| Christmas at the Monastery 2013|
Sat., Dec. 7, 2013 (4-7p)
Please join us for a charming evening of delightful music, exclusive auction items, delicious food, inspirational prayer and warm fellowship. Experience the warm hospitality of the Benedictine Sisters and Monastery and celebrate Christ's birth.
For registration, go to http://tinyurl.com/CatM2013 or call Thekla Rura-Polley at 651-777-6850.
| Some Openings Remain for the |
2014 Benedictine Pilgrimage to Wales
May 25-Jun. 3, 2014
The Benedictine Center is able to accept reservations for a limited time, up to 16 pilgrims. Do not delay.
Rooted in the mysteries of landscape and the practice of simplicity, the ancient Cistercian movement in Wales embraced a unique observance of the Rule of St. Benedict.
Trace their steps as a pilgrim yourself and encounter holy places, beautiful scenes, stirring poems, and renowned spiritual teachers like Esther de Waal, author of countless texts on Benedictine spirituality, and also the Reverend Chris Webb, an Anglican minister who inspires people
to read the Scriptures with new eyes. Led by Sam Rahberg and accompanied by poet Vic Klimoski, the rhythm of prayer, study, and conversation are sure to move the soul.
|Belmont Abbey (courtesy Peoman)|
|Other Events/Resources of Related Interest|
The Saint John's Bible.