Share your Word for 2013
In ancient times, wise men and women fled out into the desert to find a place where they could be fully present to God and to their own inner struggles at work within them. The desert became a place to enter into the refiner’s fire and be stripped down to one’s holy essence. The desert was a threshold place where you emerged different than when you entered.
Many people followed these ammas and abbas, seeking their wisdom and guidance for a meaningful life. One tradition was to ask for a word – this word or phrase would be something on which to ponder for many days, weeks, months, sometimes a whole lifetime. This practice is connected to lectio divina, where we approach the sacred texts with the same request – “give me a word” we ask – something to nourish me, challenge me, a word I can wrestle with and grow into. The word which chooses us has the potential to transform us.
- What is your word for the year ahead? A word which contains within it a seed of invitation to cross a new threshold in your life?
Share your word in the comments section by Tuesday, January 8th and you are automatically entered for the prize drawing (prizes listed below).
A free 12-day online mini-retreat to help your word choose you. . .
This year I am offering all Abbey newsletter subscribers a gift: a free 12-day online mini-retreat with a suggested practice for each day to help your word choose you and to deepen into your word once it has found you.
Sign up here and you can start your mini-retreat today. Once you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email with access to the mini-retreat content (and you are free to unsubscribe at any time). If you are already a subscriber, the invitation will be in this week’s email newsletter.
Win a Prize – Random Drawing Giveaway on January 7th!
Some wonderful friends of the Abbey have offered fabulous prizes to be included in this drawing held from all of the names who participate:
- from Christine Valters Paintner of Abbey of the Arts: a space in the online Lenten retreat with St. Hildegard of Bingen
- from Kayce Stevens Hughlett of Diamonds in the Soul: a signed copy of her book As I Lay Pondering: Daily Invitations to Live a Transformed Life
- from Dana Reynolds at Sacred Life Arts: a space in her online class The Book of Wonderment and a signed copy of her brand new novel Ink and Honey
- from Ronna Detrick: a space in her online class Soulstice: Develop a Meaningful Spiritual Practice
- from Roy DeLeon of Now Praying: a signed copy of his book Praying with the Body and personalized body prayer for your favorite Psalm
- from Tess Giles of Pilgrim’s Moon: a print of the beautiful banner art by Rima Staines
- from Velma Frye: a copy of her CD “Seven Sacred Pauses” and “Take Heart”
- from Richard Bruxvoort Colligan: a copy of each of his Psalm CDs “Sharing the Road” and “Shout for Joy”
- from Trish Bruxvoort Colligan of River’s Voice: a copy of her CDs “Breath” and “Unfolding”
- from Mary Sharratt: a copy of her novel Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard of Bingen
- from Waverly Fitzgerald of Living in Season: a copy of her French Republican Calendar for 2013 and a copy of her New Year Dreams E-book
- from Betsy McCall of the Art Monastery: an original art print
- from Paula Huston: a copy of her latest book Season of Mystery: 10 Spiritual Practies for Embracing a Happier Second Half of Life
Pretty wonderful, isn’t it? Make sure to check out the links to their websites for all kinds of goodness and thank them for supporting the Abbey!
So please share your word (and a sentence about what it means for you) with us below. Subscribe to the Abbey newsletter for your free gift. Share the love with others and invite them to participate. Then stay tuned – on January 7th I will announce the prize winners!
Let it be.
The word that chose me is: open.
Open eyes see
Open heart receives
Open wings soar
Jubilation! It’s time to dance.
My word was given to me on the cusp of the year: RENEW. It came with a cloud of attendant words, all insisting that they be allowed to support and encourage RENEW, so here they are as well – Reclaim / Reconnect / Refill / Refresh /Release / Replenish / Restore / Return.
How marvelous! What a clear and powerful surge of intent and caring comes through those words, and what promise in the simple syllable, ‘RE’? Always we begin again.
Although I didn’t really finish all of these at the time, I saved them and in retrospect see that my word thoroughly this year has been Korea(n). Interesting. I continue to follow it. Just thought I’d share even though the year is almost done.
I just joined today–02/05, but I would like to share my word “seek.”
Here is the prayer I wrote centering on my word.
Mystery of Mysteries
Speak your Word in the soughing wind
Open the heart of my silent cell
Rent the veil from my soul’s sight
That I might exalt you above, always above, this cloying world
Deeply to seek, seek, and surrender all
Thank you Christine for “the days with the word”, I really struggled with a word but towards the end of the days another word seemed to claim me.
The inner process as described above was something of a struggle, but at the same time there was a sense of “rightness” to stay with the struggle.
And then! Another word emerged as if from nowhere and seemed to claim me, and this word is,
Many years ago I came across a poem of Rabindandrath Tagore, (transl. James Talarovic) The first four lines have been like a recurring theme since, but very connected to “my word”,
“O Silent One,
if you will not speak
so be it.
I will bear your silence
till it fills my heart…..”
As I face so much that is unknown, changes that must happen, and the fear that accompanies them, I choose to trust in God. May learning trust lead me courage, hope and joy.
T – take time to listen
R – release me from my inner struggles that ravage my soul.
U – Uphold me as I look to understand and take the next step.
S – Steady my pace as I move forward in faith.
T – Timing is perfect in your hands.
Led by the spirit,
filled with the spirit,
inspired by the spirit.
My word for 2013.
It chose me.
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