Share your Word for 2014
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 below by Monday, January 6, 2014 and you are automatically entered for the prize drawing (prizes listed below). Last year we had 840 people share!
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 6th!
I am delighted to offer some wonderful gifts from the Abbey:
- 4 people will win a signed copy of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as Christian Contemplative Practice (mailed directly from me in Ireland to you, anywhere in the world)
- 4 people will win a copy of Naked and You Clothed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle A with two reflections by Christine, plus also Richard Rohr, Rob Bell, Jan Richardson, Fr. James Martin, SJ, and many more!
- 4 people will win their choice of self-study online classes from following: Creative Flourishing in the Heart of the Desert: A Self-Study Online Retreat with St. Hildegard of Bingen, Soul of a Pilgrim: An Online Art Retreat, Seasons of the Soul, Lectio Divina: The Sacred Art of Reading the World, or Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Contemplative Practice.
So please share your word (and it would be wonderful to include 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 6th I will announce the prize winners!
If this is your first time commenting at the Abbey, or you are including a link, your comment will need to be approved before appearing, which usually takes less than 24 hours.
My word for 2014 is ‘Playing’. This is my expression for celebrating Sabbath and allowing the Spirit to work within me.
In the days around Winter Solstice, the word “awaken” began to whisper itself in the corridors of my mind. At first it seemed “ordinary” since that is what we all journey toward, isn’t it? I sense an urgency, a shift in consciousness, perhaps the dawning of a realization of our Oneness, a raising of our frequency or vibration toward becoming our highest self. I must awaken!
the word that chose me.
My fists unclench,
my jaw relaxes,
and I smile.
SOFTLY my word calls
I touch everything
and walk with new awareness.
SOFTLY my mind settles
and fills with peace.
I can speak more kindly
and reach out to others
SOFTLY I shape my word
throughout the day
greeting each moment
as it unfolds
…..thank you so much for this lovely poem reflecting the deep essence of your chosen word…..bowing….
My word is REIMAGINE.
I’m at the midpoint of my lift, with kids almost out of the nest, and retirement a couple of years away. On a morning walk last summer the prefix ‘re’ came to mind and a stream of words that began with ‘re’ – including: reinvent, rediscover, reconnect, reunite, release, reconsider, reclaim, ….. on and on. There were so many that I could connect with. I wanted to travel with many of them during 2014, but I also felt that I wanted to choose one sort of ‘umbrella’ word. The first one that came to mind was ‘reset’ – yeah it sort of fits but it didn’t excite me. A few days later the word ‘reimagine’ came to mind, and BINGO – I felt the excitement. It felt like the right word and I immediately felt energized by it. This is going to be an amazing year!
As I pondered the suggestions for letting a word find me, I realized that the word was given by my Spiritual Director back in November: “simplify”.
The word that has been given to me is “knowledge”.
The frequency of “Knowledge” is there to put me intouch with information and talents that I intuitively know are there, but haven’t surfaced yet.
Knowledge is not purely about understanding something, it is about knowing that everything is already within , waiting to be birthed.
embrace all the good all the bad and do not judge which is which.
My word for the year is “softly.” God’s given this word to me as a reminder to see myself softly…with kind eyes. I’m very excited about how this word will handle me…and how I handle myself in light of its care.
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