Synodality in the Rule of Benedict

Chapter Talks

How does an ancient Rule, specifically the Rule of St. Benedict, offer a perspective and ways forward in implementing ‘synodality’ for the present and future renewal of monastic life and of the Church?  This is the subject of a short essay by the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Congregation, Gregory Polan, in the American Benedictine Review (March, 2022,73:1, p.1-9).  Abbot Gregory focuses on chapter 3 of the Rule, ‘Calling the Brethren to Counsel’.  He notes that there are other references to synodality in the Rule, however, for his short essay he focuses only on chapter 3.  I like to reflect on two other areas where a ‘synodal’ reality exists in the Rule of Benedict, and there are more references than what I will speak about this morning.

August 22, 2022 Read More

Berry Time at the Redwoods

News

Berry time at the Redwoods is a team activity.   It begins with thriving bushes loaded with luscious berries...

August 10, 2022 Read More

What Do Our Words Say About Us?

Chapter Talks

The first reading from Sirach for today’s liturgy says: “The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does one’s speech disclose the bent of one’s mind” (24:6). Our speech, our words are revelatory.  Do not our words show the care of heart and soul that they have had?  Our words reveal how silent or quiet we are inside.  Interior silence brings wisdom, compassion, mercy, even fruitfulness to our words.  Behind the words we utter we get a sense of ourselves, our true selves.  And this self is in process, always growing, a self that is always being converted to becoming more Christ-like in demeanor and in action.

February 27, 2022 Read More

Sister Gertrude, OCSO, makes Solemn Profession

News

This year the feast of All Saints brought great joy to our community with the Solemn Profession of Sr. Gertrude Feick, OCSO.  Friends and family from her hometown in Indiana came to Redwoods to celebrate with the Redwood's community.  Dom Peter McCarthy, OSCO, Father Immediate of Our Lady of the Redwoods Abbey and Abbot of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Carlton, OR, officiated at the profession.  He was accompanied at the altar by Abbot Paul Mark,OCSO and Dom Thomas, OCSO, Abbot Emeritus.  Both Dom Paul Mark and Dom Thomas are from Our Lady of New Clairvaux Abbey in Vina CA.  

Sr. Kathy DeVico offered a profoundly moving evocation addressed to Sr. Gertrude.

November 04, 2021 Read More

Solemn Profession of Sr. Gertrude Feick – November 1, 2021

Chapter Talks

Dear Gertrude,

You have been ‘running’, not running away but running towards.  ‘Running’, a striking symbol for the monastic journey and for the spiritual pilgrimage in general: running to learn…running to love…running to learn how to love.  There are four passages just in the Prologue of the Rule alone where St. Benedict uses the image of ‘running’, for St. Benedict knows that God delights in the one who ‘runs’, in the one who responds not with sluggishness of spirit, not with resistance, but with desire and longing, desire and longing to be God’s incarnate vessel of love and mercy.

November 01, 2021 Read More
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