Friday, September 17, 2010

Celebrating the Feast of St. Hildegard

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Hildegard of Bingen.  She was the Abbess of the Benedictine Abbey in Bingen, Germany.  A woman of great wisdom and understanding, St. Hildegard had a deep love for Christ and glorified him with her words and music.  She lived from 1098 - 1179.  Let us remember her today.  May we, like her, grow in our love of Christ and seek him with our whole lives.

Enjoy these words of hers:

“Be not lax in celebrating. Be not lazy in the festive service of God. Be ablaze with enthusiasm. Let us be an alive, burning offering before the altar of God.”

“There is the Music of Heaven in all things and we have forgotten how to hear it until we sing”.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

This past summer several of us had the opportunity to go the Monastic Institute held at St. John's Abbey in Minnesota. It is a wonderful conference that focuses on Benedictine life. The speakers were  very good and it was wonderful to meet Benedictines from all over the country.

Another highlight of our time there was enjoying the beautiful campus of St. John's.  They have a beautiful lake that is surrounded by woods.  On two of the days we were there, we had the chance to go canoeing.  The first day the water was calm but the next day was very choppy.  There were several times that Sr. Heather Jean and I almost tipped the boat.  When we were trying to head back to shore, we got stuck in the middle of lake because of the strong wind.  We just kept going in circles.  It took great team work to get back to shore.  Sr. Heather and I had to focus our eyes on the shore and work together to get back.  Figuring out how to use our oars in tandem we slowly headed back to shore.

I learned a lot that day.  How journeying with others makes all the difference.  How we need to focus our eyes on the goal and start toward it.  And, finally, how the oars we have make a big difference in how we proceed.  As I think of the oars of my life, I realize that the Gospel, the Rule of Benedict and the Benedictine values serve as oars that help me navigate the paths of life.