When I got back to the Monastery after a two week trip visiting care communities in the Benedictine Health System (BHS), I was surprised to see that our newly-planted little itty-bitty lilac bush had produced a big bloom. As I sat looking at it, I thought about all the other things that have surprised me of late.
I am pleasantly surprised to see the Lynx, Minnesota’s WNBA team, get off to a hot start and by the Twins conversely horrendous start. I have been tastefully surprised to see the return of the Cotton Candy Blizzard at the Dairy Queen. But most of all I have been surprised by Scripture.
I am always taken aback when I am surprised by Scripture. After all, it has been around for thousands of years and I have heard the same passages time after time, yet it still has the power to surprise! Maybe it is the translation that catches my attention or the voice of the proclaimer that makes it sound fresh. Maybe it is my disposition or — most likely — it is the Holy Spirit. Whatever it is, I am grateful that I can be surprised by Scripture!
After my long time on the road in my position as Director of Mission Integration for BHS, giving numerous presentations and being a part of a myriad of meetings, I was a bit weary. I was homesick for my monastery, wondering if my efforts in ministry were bearing fruit and looking for some inspiration. That is when I was surprised by Scripture. Listening to a podcast of the daily readings I heard words that I had seemingly never heard before, words that I needed to hear, words that surprised me. “But you be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).
Where did that come from? Why had I never heard that before? What is God trying to tell me?
Pope St. Gregory is credited as saying that “Holy Scripture by the manner of its language transcends every science, because in one and the same sentence, while it describes a fact, it reveals a mystery.” May we all be open to the Holy Spirit, enter into the mystery, and be surprised by Scripture.
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery she taught and coached in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of New Ulm. Sister Lisa made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is an Assistant Football Coach at the College of St. Scholastica and serves as the Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.