The Humble Winter Woods

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The Humble Winter Woods

There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the Lord was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.”  (1 Kings 19: 11-12)

Elijah’s search for God took him to the mountain top and it was there that he found God in the silent sound.  I have that same sort of experience every time I walk out in the humble winter woods behind the Monastery.    

One would expect to experience God in the lovely spring with the newness of life popping up everywhere.  One would obviously encounter God in the warmth of summer and the glory of autumn colors.  But in the cold dullness of winter?

The humble winter woods are full of soundless mystery. 
Its encompassing quiet is awesome…just like God.

The humble winter woods are full of stark beauty.
Its winter bleakness is wonderful…just like God.

The humble winter woods are full of open loneliness.  
Its encircling solitude is comforting…just like God.


Like Elijah who expected to find God in the great and grandiose things, I was surprised to find God in the humble winter woods. 

Where and how does God surprise you?



Sister Lisa Maurer

Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleep Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery in 2007, she taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa Made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in July ll, 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.



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“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
–Henri Nouwen