Lutherans in the Twin Cities

The art of discovering grace

Esther de Waal, a noted author and scholar on Benedictine and Celtic spiritualities, will lead a pair of Twin Cities events that help participants encounter the mystery of God in words and images, according to Sam Rahberg, director of the Benedictine Center in Maplewood, Minnesota, and member of Christ on Capitol Hill Lutheran Church, St. Paul.

“For the last 30 years, Esther de Waal has been a significant figure in spirituality, retreat ministry, and spiritual practices that support modern disciples,” Rahberg told Metro Lutheran. Interestingly, the Benedictine Center is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Already a trained scholar in England in the early ‘80s, de Waal learned about the Benedictine tradition and wrote a text, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict. Even as a young mother, she was drawn to the order’s simplicity, prayer, appreciation of work, and sense of beauty.

Ever since, de Waal has been traveling, leading retreats. She will lead two such retreats in the Twin Cities.

Art pointing to the Divine

“Benedict in Changing Times: Art and Scripture” will be offered at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis on Thursday, March 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. Participants will use the Book of Kells, the Lindisfarne Gospels, and The Saint John’s Bible to explore the interplay of art and scripture. The cost is $30.

Esther de Waal

De Waal became fascinated with the idea of cultivating religious imagination. She has paired some of Thomas Merton’s quotations with some of his poetry. She hopes to help people encounter the Word through beauty.

This theme will continue when she offers a retreat titled “Religious Imagination” at the Benedictine Center Friday, March 22, thru Sunday, March 24. According to Rahberg, participants will explore the works of poets and artists who have enriched our lives with beauty and whose works can stir our souls to pray more deeply.

De Waal is an Episcopal laywoman from Wales whose writings on spirituality have become essential resources for religious seekers around the world. Although she lives in Wales, she speaks to every person in every country who is striving to lead a more authentic life.

For more information, go to www.stpaulsmonastery.org and follow the Benedictine Center link, or call 651/777-7251 or email benedictinecenter@stpaulsmonastery.org. The Benedictine Center, a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters at St. Paul’s Monastery, is located at 2675 Benet Road in Maplewood, Minnesota.

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