News from the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery
Morning Prayer (adapted) by Karen Kurka Jensen
from the current exhibit "Atmosphere" by Karen Kurka Jensen
Sept. 23 - Oct. 6, 2014
Meditation: Carrying Silence

Reflecting on life lived in small communities, Kathleen Norris recalls insight from the desert tradition:


"Many desert stories speak of judgment as the worst obstacle for a monk. 'Abba Joseph said to Abba Pastor: "Tell me how I can become a monk." The elder replied: 'If you want to have rest here in this life and also in the next, in every conflict with another say, "Who am I?" and judge no one.'"


The summer pilgrimage to Wales underscored the impact landscape has upon our spiritual lives, a theme carried forward richly in Kathleen Norris' much praised Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Houghton Mifflin, 1993).

Pray for the School of Discernment
Listen with the ear of your heart... (RB, prol.)
The Benedictine Center is soon to host another School of Discernment. This experience with professor and researcher Kathleen Cahalan is full, pointing to the deep hunger in our time for clarity of purpose amid storms of everyday information. Please hold this group of people in prayer as they join the monastic community Oct. 3-5 and practice the art of discernment. The retreat fills quickly, so plan now for the next School of Discernment Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2015. Learn more online.
Add a description
Spiritual Director's Read:
Abba's Child by Brennan Manning
It is difficult to select a single excerpt which could justly convey Brennan Manning's (1934-2013) unique and incessant message to readers that intimate belonging is indeed the birthright of all children of God. There is no doubt, fear, or hint of unworthiness, real or imagined, that could possibly prevent God's reckless grace from finding you. Consider only one example of his impassioned prose:
The engaged mind, illuminated by truth, awakens awareness; the engaged heart, affected by love, awakens passion. May I say once more--this essential energy of the soul is not an ecstatic trance, high emotion, or a sanguine stance toward life: It is a fierce longing for God, an unyielding resolve to live in and out of the truth of our belovedness. (Ch. 9)

Pray this book more than once, and let the Gospel sink deep into your bones. I have only two regrets after my first read. One, I used a digital format for a text that should more rightly be thumbed, dog-eared, and filled with colored tabs until the binding gives way. Secondly, I am late to discover his message and have missed the opportunity to hear him speak the Gospel in person. Like Nouwen, Merton, and many more, he will be a guide that the next generations come to know through a profound gift with words.
Friend and fellow spiritual director Steve Arnold recommended this text to me, and it is my privilege to pass on the blessing. Sam Rahberg may be reached at


Position Opening at St. Paul's Monastery


St. Paul's Monastery is hiring a full time Healthcare Center Nurse Manager. The job posting may be viewed at the MN Council of Non Profits job board  at, or you may call Sue Larson in Human Resources at 651.233.4674 for more information. 

Benedictine Center Releases New Publication
2014-2015 Offerings Now Online
If you have not received a hard copy of the new Listen publication and would like one, please email the Benedictine Center. Alternatively, download a PDF copy using the link below or  explore online the upcoming opportunities for retreat, prayer, and rich conversation.
Just Around the Corner
Attentive Companions: Spiritual Direction and the Journey with God
Tues., Sept. 23, 7-9p
Spiritual Direction Staff
Freewill Offering
No one can walk our spiritual journey for us. We enter, one by one, into the presence of the mystery of God and listen wholeheartedly to what God asks of us. But that journey need not be alone. There are times when having a companion who listens to us and who helps us to listen to ourselves sharpens our ability to listen to the voice of God. This workshop offers those new to spiritual direction a place to start and those experienced with spiritual direction insight into making the most of each session. Register online.

Taking a Chance on Pope Francis: Looking at the Church with Softer Eyes
Thurs., Oct. 9, 7-9p
Joe McHugh
Recent stories and images of Pope Francis and his vision seem to be leading many toward taking another chance on the church. What might the church look like through his eyes? Does he envision a church that's worth taking a calculated chance on? If so, why and how? Register online.

Intro to Centering Prayer
Sat., Oct 18, 9a-2:30p
S. Virginia Matter OSB and Staff
This ancient spiritual practice is a Christian way of meditating that teaches one how to listen for God's invitation to deeper relationship. S. Virginia Matter OSB is a seasoned teacher and practitioner of centering prayer who was commissioned by Fr. Thomas Keating OSCO. Register online.


Sharing the Pilgrimage to Wales
Wed., Oct. 29, 7-9p
Freewill offering
A group of fifteen pilgrims from the Benedictine Center journeyed to Wales in early 2014 to explore the rich spiritual landscape and the unique Benedictine spirituality of the country's Cistercian monastic tradition. Through their stories, images, and songs now you, too, can share the pilgrimage. Come experience the sights, sounds, and maybe even flavors that stirred the pilgrims' souls. Hear also the insights of those we met, including the authors Esther de Waal and Chris Webb. Register online.


Barb SuttonThe Lifecycle of Ministry: Stages and Challenges of Living the Call to Ministry
Thurs., Oct. 30, 9a-1p
Dr. Barbara Sutton
$30 includes lunch
No leader in ministry-lay or ordained, paid or volunteer-is stranger to the challenges of serving wholeheartedly over time. While every setting and calling is unique, research and experience shows that there are predictable lifecycles in ministry, just as there are structures and approaches which enable the minister to cultivate resiliency and hope along the way. In this professional day Dr. Barbara Sutton will explore the practical insights she has gleaned from her own research and work as Associate Dean of Ministerial Formation and Outreach at Saint John's School of Theology*Seminary. Register online.


Recommended Reading
The Way Forward: A Collection of Benedictine Inspirations
Timeless meditations connecting Benedictine values with everyday life. Available in digital and hardcopy.

Matters of Life and Death Poems by Victor Klimoski

Replace this with your own text. This section will appear below or to the right. Available online.
Upcoming Events
Sam Rahberg
Sam Rahberg, Director
The Benedictine Center shares the monastic heritage of St. Paul's Monastery with all who seek to live with the Gospel as their guide.
Other Events/Resources of Related Interest