Tracy Rittmueller

How Can We Be Open to Transformation? a story, a poem, and a spiritual practice to foster change-adaptability

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change… To accept life as it is, is to accept that I am not done changing and growing. Thinking I can control life makes it hard for me to accept change. Admitting my need for change requires an inner acknowledgement that I might have been wrong–I could been kinder, more patient, more loving. And that admission is painful. I also cling to a persistent fantasy that someday soon I will reach that happily-ever-after place in my story. But, the truth is, life is no fairy tale.

multi-colored heart on round wood block

Listen with the ear of your heart to make up your mind: a Benedictine process for spiritual discernment

This article is for spiritual seekers, Benedictine Oblates, anyone seeking to nurture a sacred way of life, and people practicing a 12-step program who want to explore centuries-old wisdom to support Step 11 (about praying for the knowledge of the will of God [Higher Power] and the strength to carry it out.) In this article, …

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How poetic and monastic practices empower a vibrant, sacred way of life

In search of a vibrant, sacred way of life Do you want to explore the mysterious, wild regions of living a vibrant, sacred way of life? Maybe you feel called to be an artist—potter, painter, dancer, musician, poet, crafter, or doodler. Perhaps you want to associate with people who will help you grow in wisdom, …

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For Greater Serenity, Practice Playfully

I’m trying to see life more playfully, from a child’s point of view. For the reward of necessary joy, I’m ready to turn my adult-y, logical way of knowing how upside down. Sometimes adult life feels inelegant, unmanageable and hard. There is sickness, suffering and death. There are fractured relationships we can’t repair. The international, national and …

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3 things nuns, monks and poets know about why you should “keep death daily before your eyes”

For the next year or so, I will be studying Michael Casey’s Seventy-four Tools for Good Living: reflections on the fourth chapter of Benedict’s Rule with my oblate group at Saint Benedict’s monastery. Among those seventy-four tools is this one: “To have death present before one’s eyes every day.” (RB 4:47) And this is a …

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23 Spiritual Practices Taught by The Rule of Benedict

What do spiritual practices do? Practice is how people develop the skills to become adept at anything. Music students practice their instruments. Gymnasts practice routines, yoga students practice poses, swimmers practice strokes, and tennis players practice their serves. Successful organizational leaders practice self-mastery and teamwork. Just as all these people practice to become more proficient, spiritual …

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Judith Valente–poet, journalist, and Benedictine oblate–on "How To Live"

At the intersection of reading and writing, in the spaces where listening, silence, prayer, and wonder happen–there is poetry. There, too, is where I find support for living as a Benedictine. Some months ago I decided that my blog will focus on “Reading, Writing, and the Benedictine way of life.” Since then, I’ve been pondering …

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