Monasteries of the Heart

When you become a member of Monasteries of the Heart you receive free weekly practices that can help you develop a monastic spirituality—prayer, lectio (reflective reading), good works, study and community. You also receive free inspirational words each week from three monastic blogs, including one by Sister Joan Chittister. And you join a worldwide community whose members discuss meaningful issues and are intent on impacting the times.

A Minute w/ Joan Chittister

Sample Lectio

Sit with this icon, Romero by Robert Lentz, in a prayerful setting. What does the icon say to me? What feelings or thoughts does it evoke? What is God’s message for me as I reflect on it?

In addition to new weekly content, Monasteries of the Heart offers regular online courses, retreats and book discussions. While some of this curriculum content is free, many of the courses and retreats have a small fee. Courses and retreats usually include several emails a week, exclusive video or audio content and a facilitated discussion. Click here to see all available offerings. You must have a free membership and be logged in to register for and access courses and retreats.

Course or Retreat in session now

Instruction on monastic spirituality and way of life is essential if members of Monasteries of the Heart are to carry forward and keep alive the ancient Benedictine tradition.

Initial Monastic Formation for New Members
Study based on the book
The Monastery of the Heart by Joan Chittister

A Gentle Invitation

In her book, Insights for the Ages, Sister Joan explains that the Rule of Benedict "is not concerned with a single time and place, a single set of devotions, or a single ministry...

Two newly reopened eCourses

Lectio Divina: A Summer Experience AND Thomas Merton and Peacemaking

Next Course or Retreat to be offered

Four to six courses and retreats are offered each year at Monasteries of the Heart. This is our next online offering.

Finding Joy in Eating: Lectio with Food

Lectio Divina is traditionally recognized as slow, meditative reading that leads to prayer. Lectio with food is a slow, meditative encounter with food—preparing it, sharing it and eating it—that also can lead to prayer. Such mindfulness creates in us a posture of gratitude for the earth that sustains us and joy in the experience of "juicy rich foods and pure choice wine." Is. 25:6

But food is a complex reality.... This eCourse will invite us to mindfulness around the basic, everyday action of eating. It is a physical necessity for survival. Whether we eat alone or with others, eating is a communal act. But can our lectio with food bring us to an awareness of the spiritual gifts of food? Can it awaken in us a connection to justice issues around food? Create in us a deeper connection to our earth? >>>FULL DESCRIPTION

This is a three-week eCourse that runs September 9-27. You will have access to this eCourse for six months after the course concludes.