There was nothing startling about the fact that we had a visitor at the monastery this past weekend – like most Benedictine houses, our home is rarely without them. What was exciting was to learn, as we came to know her, that Margaret belongs to a Monastery of the Heart on site group in the midst of a retirement community in Maryland.
She spoke with a great deal of gratitude and respect for her group leader, Lisa Holloway, a minister who read Monasteries of the Heart herself and decided to bring the book to life where she lives. She posted a note on the bulletin board at the retirement village where she often ministers inviting anyone who was serious about their spiritual quest to join her for a regular group discussion on a “wonderful new book”. The group of about one dozen women and one man and of various faith denominations meets every first and third Friday for an hour (exactly!). They are using the study guide, including its opening rituals and other wisdom to journey together through Monasteries of the Heart.
In my conversation with Margaret, it was delightful to hear firsthand and in person what a gift MOH has been for her and all those in her on site monastery – to see in her face the grace it has provided at this “slower, gentler” time in her own life’s journey – to imagine, through her sharing, the monastery group with whom she meets every other Friday. A blessed reminder, too, of what we “hear” online all the time – MOH is making such a sacred difference in the lives of seekers everywhere.
By Mary Ellen Plumb, OSB