Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Journey Into the Past

As an adult, have you ever gone back to visit a place that held childhood memories for you, and upon arriving there, were surprised at how small everything was? This past September, I drove my mom to see some of her cousins down at “the farm.” This was truly an escape from the city for my family every fall; as a child, the farm held many adventures. My farm memories are full of happiness, laughter and family fun. So, mom and I drove to Minneiska, Minn., to visit some cousins and see the farm. I had not been to the farm in over thirty years, and I had heard that many changes had occurred, yet nothing prepared me for the experience I was about to encounter. 

A cousin drove us onto the land, reminding us of where the house and barn had been, pointing out the now-empty frames of structures that once held the chickens and pigs. What was magical as a child, now stands empty. The farm from the past lingers in my memory as I was brought into the reality of a life that moved on. 

As I compare the changes of the farm to Saint Benedict’s Monastery, I am aware of how our community has moved on from what I knew 35 years ago. The only difference is that I have lived through the changes that have happened over the past 35 years. The memories of my first years in community will always be part of my foundation, as we continue to move into our future.

If you would like more information about Saint Benedict’s Monastery, please contact Sister Lisa Rose at lrose@csbsju.edu.

Lisa Rose, OSB

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Bigger Isn't Better

The puzzling book of Revelation, which fills our minds and hearts with questions, fear, reassurances and yet more questions, governs the readings of the Liturgy in the weeks before Advent. What do they mean? What and when will “these last days” occur? Will I be saved? Will I know how to die? Will there be anyone who might know how to greet the inevitable? “Surely not I?” we may say. Or on whom can I depend? What will I hold on to: My diamonds? My grain bins? My children? Their good management skills? Or my beloved piano? “None of these,” we are told.

So then, why do I build newer, better, bigger storage bins? Why do we see orange-door storage areas being built all over town and country? Simultaneously, there are mammoth sales designed to make all of us bigger consumers or is it only to be able to restock store shelves for the next civic or religious or cultural event? How many more shopping days before Christmas or Valentine’s Day?

Photo: Pexels.com

We could do worse than take to heart the vision of St. John in the 14th chapter of the book of Revelation where an angel is crying out in a loud voice: “Use your sickle and reap the harvest for the time to reap has come; the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” Or Jesus’ words: “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down” (Lk 21).

Dear reader, what do you think? Are you confused and fearful, as I am? Do you feel drawn to act now in assessing your consumer choices? Do those tendencies to consume more and more, build bigger closets or storage bins, level the playing ground between yourself and those less gifted? I do...so help us, God!

Renée Domeier, OSB