The Monastic Mirror


Thursday, October 15, 2009

It started to snow this morning and we are expected to get anywhere from 2 to 12 inches of snow in "the higher elevations".  We are one of those elevations. a fellow Brother told me just recently....Sun and Moon bless the Lord.  Frost and Chill, bless the Lord.  Ice and Snow, Bless the Lord.  (Canticle of Daniel)  So I bless the lord for the beauty of the seasons. 

I will be out of the office this weekend while Linda, (our live-in) and I travel south of the Mason-Dixon line to the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia.  I will not be blogging during this time but when I return, I hope to continue.  Till then....May God Bless You......Sister John Paul

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God's Creatures Great and Small

I want to share with you some of the majestic animals that grace this beautiful area in which I live.  The three bull elk in the picture are located in the borough of Benezette, Pennsylvania.  During the last two weeks of September and the first two weeks of October, countless visitors decend upon this area to witness nature and "the rut".  It is during this time, that the male or bull elk, bugle for the women in the herd. It is their mating call. The bulls will often spar each other to exert their dominance on the herd.  As you can see from the pictures, these majestic creatures can weigh around 1100 pounds or more.  I enjoy going just before dusk to get a glimpse of these beautiful animals. 

This picture was taken by Blaine Wehler.  It was during one of the trips to view the Elk that I ran into Blaine and I am so grateful that he sent me this picture.  I hope you too enjoy it.

If by chance you come across one of these little animals, they are not the hugable ones in the store.  Yes, that is a black bear, watching as I walk through the woods.  They too, have a beauty all their own.

Every once and awhile, God blesses me with a glimpse of this little creature.  It is a fawn, hiding in the brush while it's mother is not too far away.

   Thank you for coming on this journey into the woods with me.  I hope you can enjoy them as much as I do.
            God Bless,
                   Sister John Paul

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Arrived home to St. Joseph Monastery after an all day affair with the airlines.  It used to be fun to fly, but now it is a chore...another thing to offer up for the Glory of God.  The beautiful thing, I got to see snow...yes the white stuff.  On our decent into the airport in Pennsylvania, I got to see the gorgeous colors of the leaves...imagine...all in one day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Benedictine Vocation Directors Conference

A picture of the 40 or so Benedictine Vocations Directors who participated in this wonderful experience. We spent a week together exchanging information and listening to wonderful speakers regarding Vocation Ministry. One outstanding speaker, who shared with us her prophetic vision of Monasticism as Radical Christianity, was Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B. Everyone was came away with a renewed appreciation and a challenge of how are lives can influence the world if we are true to our Monastic way of life.
Pictured with Sister Joan, is Sister Mary Katherine (St. Ben's), Brother Paul Vincent (St. John's) and Sr. Vicki (Bristow) who were gracious enough to host this awesome event. From the bottom of my heart, I thank this wonderful team.

This is Brother Martin de Porres from Marmion Abbey (left photo) who is also in Vocation Ministry. He was delightful and we enjoyed the wealth of information provided to us.

I was showing my Brothers the pictures of the beautiful Elk we have in our area. They were so kind to host a beautiful dinner for all the Benedictine Vocation Ministry Directors. Thank you so very much.
This is the bell tour at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota where we prayed with the Monks.