Converting the Heart

Chapter Talks

“Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn” (Joel 2:13).  What is the prophet Joel saying?  Clearly it is a poetic metaphor: God does not desire to hurt us…this is about enlarging the heart…converting the heart, making the heart as wide and deep as that of the heart of Christ.  The heart is to be broken open for love, for love to increase, for forgiveness and mercy to lead over a critical demeanor, over a hardened heart. 

March 02, 2023 Read More

The Paradox of our Christian Faith

Chapter Talks

With paradox there is tension between two seemingly opposing realities.  This tension is like a golden thread linking the two, sending divine impulses as one experiences either side of the polarity.  What does this have to do with today’s gospel of the Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-12)?  Blessedness is promised.  Blessedness is promised to everyone.  At the center of the gospel way is paradox.  To follow the One who said: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ is to enter paradox.  The cross is the paradigm of the Way, it is the greatest paradox of Christian faith.  There is no resurrection, no life, no growth of love without the cross.  And this teaching today of Jesus is saying something similar: blessedness emerges from struggle, hardship, including suffering.

January 29, 2023 Read More

Solemnity of the Founders, Sts. Robert, Alberic & Stephen

Chapter Talks

What was the larger horizon that guided our founders’ decision to leave their monastery of Molesme to the wilderness of Citeaux?  We may ask the same question in this way: what was their dream? Dreams form the landscape, the horizon of our lives.  ‘Dreams’ come from a deep place within the individual and in the larger body of community and even an Order. 

(The Illustrated Capital "A" shown above is from the Bible of Stephen Harding, 12th Century, Abbey of Cîteaux, Dijon, France.  The illustration is of St Michael battling the Serpent.  The "A" introduces the Book of the Apocalypse, better known today as Revelations. Our founders were geniuses in the visual arts as well as the spiritual crafts.)

January 27, 2023 Read More

The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

Chapter Talks

New Years Day in the Catholic liturgical season (the Roman calendar) opens the new year with a solemn feast dedicated to Mary Mother of God.  Why Mary?  Why the feminine vessel of God’s life, the Divine new life?  She embodies the posture of receptivity to the silent promptings of the Spirit.  Her consent is a paradigm for our lives, this humble yet strong demeanor of willingness, willingness to receive and accept the Divine promptings, even though there is so much that is unknown surrounding her ‘yes’, unknown about where her ‘yes’ will lead, about what it will ask of her, about how it will unfold into the future. 

January 01, 2023 Read More

The Miracle of Christmas

Chapter Talks

And the Word became flesh’ (Jn 1:14).  Behold reality: ‘God is now all in all’.  This is the miracle of Christmas: God has become flesh of our flesh, embodied in the totality of human life. God’s total gift of his own life given in his Son, given to us, given for us, unconditionally.  ‘O silent night, O holy night’:  this beautiful Austrian hymn depicts this reality in its lyrics and music.  It is a silent night…it must be a silent night but why silence one may ask?


December 25, 2022 Read More
Latest Blog
Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

May 08, 2023

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’ (Jn 14...

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina

April 26, 2020

Click "Read More" to connect to the latest from Sr. Ger...

Monastery Lentils

June 02, 2019

A popular Guest House recipe that is vegan, easy to mak...

Easter Vigil 2023

Easter Vigil 2023

April 12, 2023

Jesus’ death is torture for me! I prefer his lif...

Sign Up For Our Email List

I'm Also Interested In:

Thank you for your love and support!

The Sisters of Redwoods Monastery