Hi everyone! I’m back from BSWR and on to a family get-away with my parents and sister, MacKenzie. Here’s a pic of us clowning at the Milwaukee County Zoo! MacKenzie will come back to the monastery with me for a few days next week, and we are both looking forward to it. She loves the Sisters and they love her. She’ll be very busy!
BSWR was wonderful. Our focus was on the Benedictine value of hospitality, and the fact that it is a way of life. It’s a welcoming of one another and of God.
But that welcoming should never compromise our interior silence or solitude. It shouldn’t produce interior noise or clutter. It should, rather, support good, healthy relationships where we find what we need to be whole … and give what others need to be whole.
This focus helped me realize, once again, that I have definitely picked the right way of life and community!
Another experience that will continue to nourish me is how much all of the Benedictine Sisters who were participating in BSWR clicked. We enjoyed our time together very much!
Finally, the silent retreat was great as well. It gave me time to really focus and reflect on all that was discussed and shared. It was a wonderful way to think about the monastic Benedictine way of life and truly start preparing for Final Profession.
Overall, I loved it! Having time to reflect and focus, time to deepen friendships with Benedictine Sisters from other communities (women I will work with all my life), time to have fun was such a gift! One of our final projects was to wet a piece of paper down and put a drop of liquid water color on it. When it dried, we cut the paper into strips, and wrote what we wanted to remember on them. Finally, we wove the strips into a new single piece. What a creative and beautiful way to think about the experience … as well as to take it home.
We will gather again in August, 2013 at our young Benedictines conference, and many of us also will attend the Monastic Institute next June. I’ll see Belinda before that; she and I have been friends for a couple of years and, after all, Chicago isn’t that far from Rock Island.
Until then, we will be strengthened by our common love of God and the Benedictine life … and knowing we can count on each other always.
I hope you are having a wonderful summer, and that if you have any questions about this or any other Benedictine post I’ve written, you’ll contact me. I look forward, as always, to sharing everything I know!!