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    Welcome to Bethany Retreat House

    paying attention to the inner life


    Christians know Bethany as the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, a place of hospitality where Martha served Jesus.

    Away from the demands of public life, Bethany was a place of intimacy where Jesus and his friends could share their faith, their dreams.

    In Bethany Mary enjoyed sitting at Jesus' feet as a disciple. In Bethany Jesus raised Lazarus to new life. To Bethany Jesus went for comfort and friendship before his passion.

    Like its namesake, Bethany Retreat House is a place apart to spend time with God. It offers hospitality, beauty, and encouragement for prayer and discipleship.

    Bethany Retreat House is open to women and men of all faiths, to laity, clergy, and religious who seek its silent atmosphere for prayer and reflection.

    News and Events

    From the Director’s Chair

    by Joyce Diltz, PHJC

    When you call or visit the retreat house these days, you will be greeted by Robin Horbovetz, our new assistant to the director. Robin has pretty seamlessly moved in to the chair recently vacated by Susan Steinkraus who is enjoying her retirement. I’m grateful to both Susan and Robin for their ably and graciously providing the infrastructure that under- girds our services here at Bethany.

    Please remember our bookstore as you fill in your Christmas gift list. We have so many books that feed our souls and help hone our ability to recognize and respond to our God. For non-readers on your list, we have music CDs and an array of sweatshirts and tote bags. There are also cloth gift-wrap bags that enhance any gift, live on from year to year, and keep paper out of the landfill. Consider stopping by for our December 9 Christmas sale, or another day that works for you. Since we have a very small staff, it is a good idea to call ahead to be sure we are here when you have time to stop by.

    I wish you a blessed Advent season, one of longing for God’s coming in fulness and of celebrating the daily ways God is with us in the nitty gritty of our lives. May this holy season give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to em- brace God-with-us. May your Advent dreams guide you in your search for God as they did Joseph and the magi of old!

    BRH Bookshelf

    The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation
    by Richard Rohr, OFM with Mike Morrell Whitaker House, cloth, 220 pages, $24 Reviewed by Deb Szrom Steppe

    Richard Rohr introduces this book by stating that while the Blessed Trinity is a foundational doctrine of our Chris- tian belief system, it seems to have almost no practical or pastoral implications in most of our lives. This work by Rohr with Mike Morrell sets out to change that by calling for a paradigm shift, a major religious conversion in how we see, understand, and relate to God.

    This paradigm shift offers to the reader the image of God as Life Energy...God as with us in all of life...the Di- vine Reality that replicates itself in us and in all the array of creation...the flow who flows through everything, without exception and who has done so since the beginning – to name a few images Rohr suggests.

    This work is heavily based on scripture. I find that helpful. Inviting readers to change their perception of the image of God is a tall order. Basing so much of this book on scripture as well as insights of mystics and wisdom figures throughout history makes that change easily reachable.

    This book is based on two workshops Rohr delivers. Mike Morrell’s writing skills provide a seamless transition from workshop material, which might be tiresome to read, to an engaging and easily readable book.

    I am quite taken with this book and find that I’m con- tinuing to process and reread the material. What struck me most and continues to resonate with me is the discussion on the sign of the cross, the physical action of belief in the Trin- ity. As a Catholic, it is impossible for me to count how many times I have made the sign of the cross in my lifetime. What was often an automatic gesture done without even thinking is now something I do consciously, prayerfully, and most lovingly.

    The book’s appendix provides seven spiritual practices, including the sign of the cross, to discover this new way of living within the Trinity in our daily lives.

    Richard Rohr is a spiritual and theological master. That is evident in this superb work!


    Deb Steppe, a former Hammond resident, writes from New Berlin, Wisconsin.