News from the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery
from the current exhibit _Cultural Incarnation as Proclamation_ Paintings of He Qi_ open 9a-6p through Apr. 30_ 2017
Mar. 14-27, 2017
Words to the Wise
There are some things we can only seek and discover within ourselves; there are other things that we can only seek and discover in relationship with other people. Much of the pain we experience in life results from confusing the two.  

Thomas Fogarty,  On Emptiness and Closeness
open 9a-6p daily until Apr. 30

For many Chinese people Christianity is a Western religion.  In his work, He Qi represents Jesus as Chinese - a Jesus who speaks their language, is part of their culture, and is one of them.  The vibrant colors of his art mirror the greater story of God's conspiring with humanity for the purposes of God's Shalom. Learn more about Art and Spirituality at the Benedictine Center.

Learn from the Talented and Personable  S. Edith Bogue OSB

The Benedictine Center is pleased to welcome S. Edith Bogue OSB, a sisters of St. Scholastica's Monastery (Duluth), as the 2017 keynote speaker--three events listed below. S. Edith brings her experience as a professor of sociology and a leader in retreat ministry and sharing the Benedictine charism. Learn more about S. Edith online.

What Is Your Gospel?
by Sister Edith Bogue OSB
excerpt reprinted with permission from Pathways (Lent 2016), a publication of St. Scholastica's Monastery, Duluth
The homily I heard on Christmas Day is still with me. Father Peter Lambert posed two questions to the assembly, declaring that the answers prepared us to be evangelists - people who proclaim the Gospel. 

His first question was easy: to recall a specific happy Christmas event. The only difficulty was choosing from so many: leaving church on a snowy night after Midnight Mass to see candle luminarias glowing around the building; my younger sister's squeals of joy when Santa somehow fit a big-girl bed into his sleigh; my own astonishment on first hearing from a BBC radio announcer (growing up unchurched) that Christmas celebrates Emmanuel, God with-us.  Seeking one memory set me to rummaging through my storehouse, reliving all those happy moments in an instant. 

The second question was more profound: to remember when we really discovered the Gospel, the moment when Christ changed our hearts and our lives. These memories, not so numerous, enveloped the happy memories with the deep joy of encountering Christ, the giver of all gifts, and responding with a "Yes" from the depths of the soul. "Hold on to that memory," Fr. Peter charged us, "it is your Gospel, the unique Good News that you have to share with the world: your story of God's love coming to you in surprising ways." There is a profound truth to this. 

Transformation, in both the Scripture and the lives of saints, begins with an encounter, seeing and responding to God's presence in the people and events of their everyday lives.  What if every day began with the question, "What is your Gospel today?" and lived out the answer?

Benedictine in the Shark Tank: Wisdom for Organizational Life
Thurs., Mar. 23, 9a-1p
S. Edith Bogue OSB
$40 includes lunch
Register online.

Guard of the Heart in a Heartless World
Fri., Mar. 24, 7-9p
S. Edith Bogue OSB
$25 public presentation only

Monastic Habits for Ordinary People
Fri., Mar. 24, 7p thru Sun., Mar. 26, 1p
S. Edith Bogue OSB
$100 public presentation, retreat, commuting
$175 presentation, retreat, shared room
$225 presentation, retreat, single room
Register online and indicate preference for lodging in the comment field.

Befriending Your Limits by Samuel Rahberg
I was there, waiting for the winds and crashing to stop, along with a dozen young people and two other adults who had arrived for a retreat not 15 minutes before.

I, for one, was shot through with fear that the children in our care might be hurt. I could not think of a way to keep them safe. I could not tell them with certainty how long the storm would last, or with honesty that everything was fine. At the same time, I was saddened by the destruction of our precious trees.

What the adults could do, and what the children most needed us to do, was lead. We gathered the children in the main room, then calmed our voices to answer their nervous questions. We explained that the power would likely go out. After the storm began to lessen and the power did go out, we set to the adventure of preparing tacos by flashlight.

We adults -- like the children -- were encountering our limits, those places where we are overcome with feelings like fear and sadness, those moments in which we must discern whether to reach beyond or to accept the end of our known capacities.

When we face the limits of our strength or patience, we come to know more fully the boundaries of what we can easily do and be. Read on . . .
Also Coming Up . . .
Lent: Let Us Pray
Wed., Mar. 1 thru Sat., Apr. 15
No cost
Guests are always welcome to join the Sisters for prayer, but Lent is a particularly beautiful time to mark our waiting for the resurrection with prayer together. The Sisters prayer morning, midday and evening daily. Come, let us pray. Call 651.777.8181 for the schedule.
Peter Watkins
Embracing the Holy Time of Lent
Sun., Mar. 19, 4-6p
Peter Watkins
$25, option to stay for prayer and supper (additional $8)

Grounded in Scripture this gentle two hour "mini-retreat" invites participants to a quiet time of contemplation, guided meditation, and ritual which helps open hearts to Christ the Lamb of God. Draw on the power of your imagination and enter into the sacred stories of this season as we deepen our sense of the God who redeems us.  Register online.
Condensed School of Lectio Divina
Fri., Jul. 14, 7p thru Sun., Jul. 16, 1p
Sam Rahberg and staff
$100 commuters,  $150 shared lodging,  $200 single

The Condensed School of Lectio Divina adapts the Benedictine Center's keystone experience retreat into a shorter, less-expensive format. The core teachings and the monastic experience remains intact.  Sam Rahberg, in cooperation with S. Carol Rennie OSB and S. Virginia Matter OSB, leads five teaching sessions that distill the essentials of sustained lectio divina, making this an excellent introduction to the practice or a good review for past participants in the School of Lectio Divina. Maximum 20 participants as room arrangements allow.  Register online.
2017 Edition of the Benedictine Center's Listen
Download a PDF copy  of the Benedictine Center's latest publication to  explore online  the upcoming opportunities for retreat, prayer and rich conversation. If you would prefer a hardcopy and do not receive one by the end of the first week of the year, please email the Benedictine Center.
Recommended Reading
The Gospel of John in Poem and Image

A collection of fifty-six reader's poems, combined with twenty-six original pieces of art printed in full color. Available online.
Margin Notes
Poems of the ongoing puzzlement over navigating the waters of daily life. Available online
Enduring Ministry: Toward a Lifetime of Christian Discipleship
Supporting and empowering women and men for lasting and effective Christian leadership. Available online .
The Way Forward:
A Collection of Benedictine Inspirations
Timeless meditations connecting Benedictine wisdom to everyday life. Available in print and digital editions.
Lamentation o f
the Written Word
Reposition the dark periods of writing as moments to reclaim why it is important. Available online .
Illuminating Ministry
A Journal, Vol. III
An opportunity for church leaders to join in prayer and reflection with The Saint John's Bible. Available online.
Upcoming Events

Lent: Let Us Pray
14   Dementia Support Group
17   TaizĂ© Prayer
19   Embracing the Holy Time of Lent
23   Benedictine in the Shark Tank: Wisdom for Organizational Life (S. Edith Bogue OSB)
24   Guard of the Heart in a Heartless World (S. Edith Bogue OSB)
24 26 Monastic Habits for Ordinary People (S. Edith Bogue OSB)
6   Great Conversation: Measured Speech: Speaking As Though Every Word Mattered
7   SoulCollage Retreat: An Exercise of Religious Imagination
First Friday, Vigil for Peace
11   Dementia Support Group
13   A Guided Journey through the Triduum
20   Poems for the Earth
21   TaizĂ© Prayer
22   A Day of Quiet and Solitude
23   On Care for Our Common Home
28   Together In the Mystery: Training for Supervisors of Spiritual Direction
2   Hearts Burning Within Us (Luke 24:13-55)
4   Prioress Dinner

Other Events/Resources of Related Interest

Sam Rahberg, Director


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The Benedictine Center shares the monastic heritage of St. Paul's Monastery with all who seek to live with the Gospel as their guide.