Reflections

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Embrace the Wisdom of the Sacred Feminine ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I am back home in Ireland now after my six weeks away for surgery and recovery in Vienna. I am really grateful to be back with sweet Sourney and the quiet rhythms and comforts of home. My body still needs more healing time so I will keep going slowly in the weeks to come. I continue to be enormously grateful for your prayers.  This time away has been so many things. A welcome return to an ancestral city I love so much after two years of pandemic-restricted travel. A season of grieving the loss of

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Monk in the World Guest Post Series

Monk in the World Guest Post: Kathryn Coneway

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series form the community. Read on for Kathryn Coneway’s reflection “Sanctuary at Home and Deepening Relationship with Neighbors.” There’s a tall straight oak tree growing behind our house; its thick trunk stretches straight up and then branches open like an umbrella at the top above other trees. I can walk around the base of the tree, stepping on thick roots that anchor it to the earth. In some places, a smaller root wraps over the larger main root; I imagine this as a glimpse

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Abbess love notes

Cause of Our Joy: She Who is the Source of Delight ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, On Monday, May 2nd we will be hosting a contemplative prayer service that will also serve as a launch of my new book, the companion album, and our wonderful new prayer cycle on Mary and the Wisdom of the Sacred Feminine.  In celebration of these resources being birthed into the world, I offer you an excerpt from my book Birthing the Holy on one of my favorite of Mary’s titles – Cause of Our Joy: When the angel Gabriel visits Mary, he tells her to “Rejoice!” When Mary and Elizabeth meet while they are both pregnant, John the Baptist leaps with rejoicing in

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Monk in the World Guest Post Series

Monk in the World Guest Post: Becky Rische

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Becky Rische’s reflection on creating a community labyrinth. It’s a strange feeling to follow a calling and then watch it take shape in ways you hadn’t imagined.  As the pandemic wore on and I sought safe ways to practice my faith, a labyrinth’s blend of faith and nature appealed to me more and more. That’s how building a neighborhood prayer labyrinth looped around my mind, and eventually materialized along the local hike and bike trail that runs in front of our home. I sat on rock piles

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Abbess love notes

Easter and the Elements ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Happy Easter and Feast of the Resurrection! I am delighted to share that my assistant Melinda, whom you may know from our online programs and yoga practices, is leading a mini-retreat on Saturday, April 23rd themed around yoga and the elements. Read on for her reflection on Easter and the 5 great elements.  When I asked my eight year old son if he knew what Easter was about he said, “God coming back.” After nearly two years away from church and Sunday School I thought this was pretty on the mark. We briefly talked about love never

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Abbess love notes

Health Update from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I am doing quite well with my recovery from surgery two and a half weeks ago now. My incision has healed up well. My pain has transitioned more to discomfort and I can walk about 10-15 blocks. I am still going very gently but the doctor highly recommended walking along with resting. So thankfully since the weather has been lovely here we walk each day to an outdoor spot for lunch. This time of healing is a gift and I continue to be so grateful for all of your prayers. I feel the presence of

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Therese Pekala

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Therese Pekala’s reflection “Hospitality:  A Graceful Art.” On the exterior of my front door reads a sign, “My dog is my door bell.”  It may appear to be a warning and unhospitable until you realize the dog is a friendly fifteen year old golden retriever named Maisy.  She is the official greeter.  If dogs are like their master, then Maisy and I are symbiotic souls when it comes to welcoming those who appear at our door.   I

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Abbess love notes

The Space Between ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Today we enter Holy Week. This week ahead in the Christian scriptures invites us into a world full of betrayal, abandonment, mockery, violence, and ultimately death. The Triduum, those three sacred days which constitute one unfolding liturgy, call us to experience communion, loss, and the border spaces of unknowing. Holy Saturday is an invitation to make a conscious passage through the liminal realm of in-between. I love the wide space of Holy Saturday that lingers between the suffering and death of Jesus on Friday and the vigil Saturday night proclaiming the return of the Easter fire.

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Katie Birkeland

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Katie Birkeland’s reflection imagining Judas’ point of view at the Last Supper.  I have found putting myself into a Bible story is a powerful way to connect with the message that God has for me.  I recently spent some time in the story of the Last Supper as if I were Judas and recognized in myself the tension between following my flesh—betrayal toward Jesus–  and falling into his ever present and pursuing arms.  This is where my

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Abbess love notes

A Poetic and Mythic Approach to Mary ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I am thrilled that my book Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal is being published this Friday, April 8th. (Also mark your calendars for our May 2nd contemplative prayer service where I will be joined by Simon de Voil, Soyinka Rahim, Betsey Beckman, and Richard Bruxvoort Colligan to launch my book, the album, and the forthcoming prayer cycle).  In the meantime, this excerpt is from the introduction and explains how the archetypes shapes my approach to writing about Mary’s names and titles:  Mary has gone by many names in the Christian tradition. My approach to these names is

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