The Monastic Mirror


Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Word of God....The Saint John's Bible

Most of you know that I am studying this next year at St. John's School of Theology in Collegeville, Minnesota.  This is a time of learning and growing, both spiritually and academically, while I pursue courses in Scripture and Monastic Studies.  This time in an of itself is such a blessing but yesterday and today, presented once in a life time opportunites that only happen because God lets you be in the right place and the right time.....

The first opportunity was to hear Mr. Donald Jackson, the Artistic Director of the Saint John's Bible, speak of its inception, journey, process, frustrations, collaboration and vocational dream come to reality over the past 15 year.  It was a candid look into a journey that encompassed trust, art, theology and a passion to produce a hand written Bible for the millennium that had not been done in over 500 years.

Then this evening at Vespers, the final volume of the Bible was formally presented by Donald and Mabel Jackson to Abbot John Klassen, OSB and the St. John's Abbey community.

One of these God moments would of been a blessing.....but both....well I am speechless.  So for the first time in my life, I will let the pictures tell the rest.

Thank you Jesus for the Blessings of these past few definitely get a star on your rug for taking my breath away...Sister John Paul, OSB

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ is Risen....Allelulia!!!

By His Cross and Resurrection we are set free......

We are an Easter people and Allelulia is our Song..........
St. Augustine

May you have a Blessed Easter....from the Benedictine Sisters of Elk County.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

GOT DIRT? a reflection on Lent

Chapter 49 of the Rule of Saint Benedict is an entire chapter dedicated to "The Observance of Lent".
   The life of a monastic ought to be a continuous Lent.  Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times.  

Our community as a whole has decided to keep silence on Ash Wednesday, and all Fridays during this holy season, along with various other practices.  As I sat an meditated on this holy season...I was struck by the words....wash away.  I thought how descriptive was the putting on of ashes on our foreheads to remind us of the "dirt" we have accumulated this past year.  Lent is a time to take stock of our lives, evaluate what we need to wash away to get closer to God.
The more I prayed on this I was struck by how the chains and imprisonment that these simple negligences separate us from God's love.  We become lax in our manner of living.  So yesterday when I saw the cross of ashes on each forehead....I ask myself....."GOT DIRT?"...the answer was "YES"   It is the dirt that I want to wash away during this season of Lent with prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  This is a special time for all of us to take a deep look at ourselves and cleanse away the gunk that turns us hard, soft or indifferent.....use this time to evaluate and work on your relationship these next 40 days.....focus on your DIRT....make an effort to is never easy...but always worth it....God Bless your Lent!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

United in Hope

Over 100  Religious women, ages 55 and under,  will be meeting at Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas for an Inter-federation Meeting with the theme of "United in Hope" from January 27-30, 2011. 

The symbol to the left was designed by Sister Therese Haydel, O.S.B. from Cullman, Alabama to depict what this meeting intends to convey to all the Benedictine participants.

This is the first meeting of all three Federations and the third meeting of its kind for the Federation of St. Scholastica.

Sister Glenna, Sister Susan, Sister Christine, Sister Pat and Sister Joella
Sister Glenna Smith, President of the Federation of St. Scholastica, Sister Susan Hutchens, President of the Federation of St. Benedict, Prioress General Sister Pat Nyquist from the Benedictines of Perpetual Adoration and Sister Joella Kidwell, President of the Federation of St. Getrude will offer their wisdom on a hopeful future as Benedictine women in the 21st century. 

Look forward to additional photos and articles on the happenings of this historic event.....PAX to all....Sister John Paul

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

It is now 2011, a New Year and new beginnings.  As I looked on 2010, I was struck by the ebbs of the year...there was new hopes, traditions of long ago....there was new life and the loss of life... ....there was "hello's" and "good-byes"....but what struck me the most was the idea of the journey that we are all on....the journey of faith.

Today's readings from Luke 2:16-21 "the sheperds went in haste...and made known what they had heard...and all who heard these words were amazed"  Did we take note of what God was saying to us this past year?  Did I not listen to the angels or look for the is an unusual means to communicate but what blocks us from hearing the voice of God?
This New Year will bring many more ebbs of emotions, memories, and treasures to ponder....will I be ready to hear God from unusual sources and will my journey be a witness of the life I live?

It is my prayer that as this year unfolds that we ask God's blessing and grace to hear and receive the message for our will be a journey of faith...a journey of trust...but it will take to the place where only God wants us to travels friends.....Peace and Joy to all of you....Sister John Paul, O.S.B.