With February comes a new invitation for contemplation. This month I invite you into a lectio divina practice with words attributed to St. Brigid on the wisdom of having a soul friend. We just passed the Celtic feast of Imbolc and the feast day of St. Brigid on February 1st.
How Community Lectio Divina works:
Each month there will be a passage selected from scripture, poetry, or other sacred texts (and occasionally visio and audio divina as well with art and music).
For the year I am choosing an overarching theme of discernment. I feel like the Abbey is in the midst of some wonderful transition, movement, and expansion.
How amazing it would be to discern together the movements of the Spirit at work in the hearts of monks around the world.
I invite you to set aside some time this week to pray with the text below. Here is a handout with a brief overview (feel free to reproduce this handout and share with others as long as you leave in the attribution at the bottom – thank you!)
Lean into silence, pray the text, listen to what shimmers, allow the images and memories to unfold, tend to the invitation, and then sit in stillness.
Go forth and eat nothing until you get a soul-friend, for anyone without a soul-friend is like a body without a head; is like the water of a polluted lake, neither good for drinking nor for washing. That is the person without a soul-friend.
—words attributed to Brigid of Kildare
After you have prayed with the text (and feel free to pray with it more than once – St. Ignatius wrote about the deep value of repetition in prayer, especially when something feels particularly rich) spend some time journaling what insights arise for you.
How is this text calling to your dancing monk heart in this moment of your life?
What does this text have to offer to your discernment journey of listening moment by moment to the invitation from the Holy?
What wisdom emerged that may be just for you, but may also be for the wider community?
Sharing Your Responses
Please share the fruits of your lectio divina practice in the comments below (at the bottom of the page) or at our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group which you can join here. There are over 1200 members and it is a wonderful place to find connection and community with others on this path.
You might share the word or phrase that shimmered, the invitation that arose from your prayer, or artwork you created in response. There is something powerful about naming your experience in community and then seeing what threads are woven between all of our responses.
You can see the full winter/spring 2014 calendar of invitations here>>
Join the Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group here>>
Last night at church while attending a spirituality growth class, all it’s members instantly became ” soul friends.” Though I had only known most of them just over a month they held me in heart and prayer as I heard the news of my mother’s passing. We stopped, prayed, hugged, sighed and breathed together. I have found a new meaning for soul friend.
I am truly blessed to have a spiritual director and friends in my koinonia group that support me as soul friend. Actually my blessings overflow with folks I could label as soul friends. What came to me from this passage is : Although we have a special few soul friends, are we not called to be soul friend to the world – what better way to share God’s love?
I have had several spiritual directors, I consider my present director a soul friend ; I also have a long-time friend who is a soul friend, although not a spiritual director. I am blessed in both regards.
Be open to possibilities; nurture relationships, even difficult relationships. There are people to whom I am probably a soul friend, but they are not to me–more like a thorn in the flesh sometimes.