Our evolving spirituality
We are human, down-to-earth, and curious
If you have questions about religion, faith, science, and the purpose of it all, we’d like to hear them because we have a few burning questions too! We are prolific readers on current issues and discoveries, and we spend a lot of time in prayer to reflect on what these discoveries mean for our understanding of the Divine. We’d appreciate the opportunity to study with you.
But be warned: if you’re seeking certainty and prescribed answers, we’re fresh out of those.
"Aha!" moments that changed everything
We are all travelers on a spiritual journey. Here are our stories of how a light bulb suddenly turned on and the path forward was illuminated by Divine Love. We hope to hear your stories, too.
Suffering and the Divine
An especially significant event in my Benedictine life was my trip to Einsiedeln, Switzerland in 2011 to attend a conference on Jungian psychology. There I visited the chapel of the Black Madonna in the Benedictine Abbey Church. People come to this “Black” Mary praying for help in difficult times. It seems that Mary helps one to bear pain and sorrow, but she does not necessarily remove the suffering.
Relating to this aspect of Mary, Jesus’ mother, helps me to realize the presence of the Divine in everything, even in the most difficult events of life.
Sharing this awareness of God in All and All in God is a basic message that I try to bring to visitors who come to Benet Hill Monastery.
– Sister Anne Madeleine Brost, OSB
Images from Deep Space
The first images from the James Webb Space Telescope revealing the anatomy of the universe literally took my breath away. I was filled with awe and wonder. They also humbled me to my very core by reminding me that only God sees the big picture of why there is both Cosmos (order) and Chaos in the universe.
The telescope itself gives me a great deal of hope for humankind because despite our differences, its construction was an international endeavor. Thousands of people from all over earth had to cooperate to make the telescope a reality.
God is not limited. And when humans work together, neither are we.
– Sister Ana Cloughly, OSB
The Divine is in everyone
There are just so many ways I feel challenged to stretch and broaden my perception of the Divine.
Every time someone walks into my office, I am invited to see the Divine in them. They may be there to do some counseling, spiritual direction, or just for some conversation. They are beautiful and they call me to let go of my preconceived notions and agenda. I am so often caught up in my own wants and needs that I am often surprised at the presence of grace and the Divine in those around me. I am always touched by the courage of people to live authentically, for it is no easy feat.
– Sister Clare Carr, OSB
At the end of a thirty-day prayer retreat, the director told us to bring a Bible passage that sums up our experience. I was baffled so I opened the Bible at random to the Gospel of John.
The words that spoke to me were chapter 8:31-32, “If you keep my word, you truly are my disciple. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
This is the light that has lit up my path for fifty years.
– Sister Therese O’Grady, OSB
Connected to a place and its people
Growing where you're planted
Witnessing the collapse of Rome in 476 A.D. and experiencing the chaos and instability, St. Benedict had the desire to settle in one place and stay there. This is why Benedictines vow stability not just to a place, but also to the people living in that place, both inside and outside of the monastery walls.
Listening to hear – and understand
In the opening of the Rule of Benedict, he wrote, “Listen carefully…and incline the ear of your heart.”
The Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery are more than good listeners. We are compassionate, sensitive women of faith and hope who see the Divine shining brightly in you.
The Rule of Benedict
Benedictines today follow contemporary interpretations of the Rule, written originally in 516. St. Benedict’s book has stood the test of time because the values he wrote about are universal and timeless.
Many sisters are trained Benedictine Spiritual Directors (or Companions). They listen with their whole hearts, and without judgement, as you share your spiritual journey. They are rich in lived experience and spiritual resources.
seeing the divine
We deeply believe that the Divine spark lives in each of us. We recognize the presence of the Divine in our lives when we slow down and become quiet enough to listen for its loving guidance.
We'll meet you where you are
You know how some people clean their own house before the cleaning service arrives? Why do they do it? Because they’re embarrassed by how dirty their home is, and they don’t want anyone to know — even the cleaning service!
You don’t need to tidy up before inviting us into the unruliest corners of your heart. We want to know you just as you are today.