Monasteries of the Heart

Forming a Monastic Heart: eCourses and eRetreats

The Monastery of the Heart by Joan ChittisterHow do you form a monastic heart? Regular prayer, honest self-reflection in lectio, good work, and faithful sharing of our lived experience in community—essential elements of the monastic way of life—are presented on this Monasteries of the Heart website. Instruction on the Benedictine way of life, or the passing down of the monastic charism from those who have chosen this lifestyle, is also imperative.

The following eCourses present a monastic spirituality for contemporary seekers like yourself who wish to embrace the tradition. The offerings are part of an ongoing Monastic Curriculum that can help you form a monastic heart, a heart afire with the unbounded love of God.

The foundational text for Monasteries of the Heart is Joan Chittister's book, The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life, a road map based on the Rule of Benedict, a practical model upon which to build a satisfying life, despite the seemingly limitless and, at times, meaningless supply of options in the modern world. All new members are encouraged to use the study guide to deepen their understanding of this invitation. Order the book here. Access discussion here.

New eCourses

Advent Lectio: Prepare for Christmas with Music and Art

Advent Lectio: Prepare for Christmas with Music and Art

How can you make Christmas what it was meant to be: a month of contemplation, rather than simply a day of celebration? One way is to join Sister Jean Wolbert as she prepares for Christmas with lectio divina with music and art. In this online lectio eCourse, Sister Jean will introduce you some of her most beloved Advent and Christmas hymns.

Sister Jean, who has a Masters’ degree in liturgy and theology, will introduce you to artwork and some of her most beloved Advent hymns, which will deepen your prayer life in this time of darkness, expectation, and hope for new life. >>>FULL DESCRIPTION

Unfamiliar with lectio? View our short video that introduces you to this ancient practice.


The Art of Questioning: a journaling practice

Yes, journaling is a popular way to deepen spirituality, work out issues, find the courage to face ourselves and the world—and especially at New Year’s time, to begin again. But like any practice, it takes a period of trial and error to find the techniques best suited to one’s own particular way of processing. It takes dedicated effort to develop good journaling habits and it takes regular, focused attention to truly reap its benefits.

That’s where tools can help. Tools like The Art of Questioning: a journaling practice eCourse and JOURNAL, a new guided journal from Joan Chittister with prompts and activities to guide your reflection.In addition to the content to be delivered during this three-week eCourse, you will receive a $2.00 off coupon for the Joan Chittister JOURNAL when you register. (JOURNAL is not required for the course). >>> FULL DESCRIPTION

The Art of Questioning runs January 7 - 25
Compiler of this new eCourse, Linda Romey, OSB, talks about what is included and why she includes it in this short video.


Study and reflect on your time at your pace. With this one-time enrollment fee you will have access to these nine eCourses for a full year. The content varies by course and includes text, video and audio. Click here for a description of each of these courses. Each course is available separately. Scroll down for individual selections.

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Creating a Monastery of the Heart with Joan Chittister

Creating a Monastery of the Heart with Joan Chittister

This eCourse is your opportunity to join Joan Chittister in creating a Monastery of the Heart—wherever you are—as she explores the key elements to the life: prayer, work, silence, community, good zeal, humility….  >>>FULL DESCRIPTION