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 Seeker's Path

By Joan Chittister

Sayings of the Desert Monastics 5/28

Life can be very discouraging. We think we know what we want to do. Or, worse, we think that we can do it. But when the moment comes, things do not go as we had planned.

Then we begin to think that we’re not good enough. We think...

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.

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

Chapter 5 Silence

Your search and experience of daily prayer, faithfulness to prayer, is impressive and real, I know. Benedict knew well that prayer, alone and together, was the one way, the solid way to find one's...

April 21, 2016

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.

Sister Anne McCarthy
Sister Anne McCarthy

“Retreat time is the flagship piece of the year that sets the standard for a rhythm of life…” writes Joan Chittister in The Monastery of the Heart.

Are you ready for a retreat, but have trouble fitting it into your schedule? God Speaks in Many Tongues: A Personal Retreat, is designed to be used on a schedule that works for you. It can be done over one day, over several days, or over a week. We give you all the pieces; you make it work for you.

Lectio Divina: A Summer Experience

Lectio Divina, reflective sacred reading, has deep roots in Benedictine spirituality. In this eRetreat you will be invited to use a number of God’s texts—scripture, poetry, music and yoga—as ways to engage in a lifelong conversation with God. Three sisters and one oblate of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie—Anne McCarthy, Mary Lou Kownacki, Jean Wolbert and Joanne Cahill—will serve as your guides.

John Dear

Is the vocation of peacemaker reserved for a chosen few or is it your call too? The late Trappist monk Thomas Merton believed peacemaking and nonviolence were Gospel imperatives. In this four-week eCourse, best-selling author and peace activist John Dear explores how the writings and mentoring of Merton profoundly influenced the peace landscape of the institutional church and continues to shape it still. More importantly it forces all of us who claim to be followers of Jesus to grapple with the demanding invitation of the Sermon on the Mount.