Friday, July 23, 2010

"The Hours"

Sometimes, when we pray together,
the sound of us
resonates in my bones.
The psalter strikes my heart
like a tuning fork
and it rings and rings…

Sometimes, when we pray together,
we share one breath –
slow and deep,
like the rhythm of sleep.
In those moments I am the many –
and there is only “we.”

Sometimes, when we pray together,
the ancient texts tell me secrets –
of how to be
in relationship with all that is
and how to love the strangers
who have become my home.

Sometimes, when we pray together,
I remember the most important thing.
We are on our way
and God smiles when we pray.

Vicki Ix, OSB
July 3, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

In a Kansas cornfield...

"All guests are to be welcomed as Christ (RB 53)."'s just the heart of the monastic endeavor. I travel more than most so I am blessed to experience this Benedictine value in other monasteries from time to time. This past weekend I was working on a Federation project at Mount St. Scholastica Monastery, Atchison, KS. Though the focus of the weekend was work - preparation for the next "55 & Under" meeting in 2011 - the sisters at Atchison were pleased to include us in their Saturday night plans. I just happened to be visiting during the "Amelia Earhart Festival" - a weekend celebration of Atchison's most famous native. After the BEST hamburger I've had in a long time, our small group joined several sisters who were "camping out" for the evening festivities. Perched on the bed of a pick-up truck, folding chairs were poised to see the trick flyers - bi-planes that swooped over the Missouri doing death-defying loops and white-knuckle dives! Then, as we waited for darkness to fall, Sister Judy made s'mores over a folding charcoal stove - messy but way worth it! Sister is also the monastery fireworks expert. I watched - from a safe distance - as Sister Judy set off Roman Candles and various other small explosives. As evening fell and the real fireworks show began, I couldn't help but marvel at the fact that I was sitting in the middle of a cornfield by the shore of the Missouri River. For a girl from New Jersey, it was a once-in-a-lifetime pleasure. The Benedictine sisters in Kansas live the mandate of hospitality with joy - and creativity!

Blessings and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki