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Invitation to Photography: Return to me with your whole heart

Welcome to this month’s Abbey Photo Party!

button-photographyI select a theme and invite you to respond with images.

We began this month with a Community Lectio Divina practice with words from the prophet Joel, read every year on Ash Wednesday. “Return to me with your whole heart” are a powerful words to begin the sacred season of Lent. What if we were to imagine Lent as less about sacrifice, and more about making the great return to God.

I invite you for this month’s Photo Party to hold these words in your heart as you go out in the world to receive images in response. As you walk be ready to see what is revealed to you as a visual expression of your prayer.

You can share images you already have which illuminate the theme, but I encourage you also to go for a walk with the theme in mind and see what you discover.

You are also welcome to post photos of any other art you create inspired by the theme.  See what stirs your imagination!

How to participate:

You can post your photo either in the comment section below* (there is now an option to upload a file with your comment – your file size must be smaller than 1MB – you can resize your image for free here – choose the “small size” option and a maximum width of 500).

You can also join our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group and post there. Feel free to share a few words about the process of receiving this image and how it speaks of the “Return with your whole heart” for you.

*Note: If this is your first time posting, or includes a link, your comment will need to be moderated before it appears. This is to prevent spam and should be approved within 24 hours.

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54 Responses

  1. I was touched by this picture, as it reminds me that this is where I need to be. Jesus wants us to have the heart of a child, who is willing to trust completely, to enjoy life, to give ourselves over to Him. Abandon ourselves without any holding back. Just think of a child, no fear, no inhibitions that stop them from being who they need to be. Come back to having a child like heart. “The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

  2. To return with all of our heart is to die to ourselves, to give up the beauty of our spring selves and embrace a new kind of autumn beauty…a time of dryness and a return to the earth. And yet, there is the sun at our back, creating a new kind of beauty formed in that eternal light.

    I received this image on a fall prayer walk a few years ago at a conservation area near my home near the Missouri River Valley in suburban St. Louis, MO.

    Steve Givens

  3. I enjoyed looking through all these yesterday. I’m new to this community this season. I especially loved the love note on Ash Wednesday.

    Here is my contribution:

  4. I think this is a beautiful image, Marie! Along with your msg. I love the composition, textures, contrast of light, the emptiness of the pews, darkened in the background, and the design of the stand the bowl sits upon….the perpendicular pieces on the left side even reflect an aqua, the complementary ‘popping’ color of the terra cotta bowl.
    And on top of it all, this central, glorious, leaping flame…. with the texture of the palms returning to ashes, even visible still as palm fronds. thank you!

  5. ‘Return to me with your whole heart’

    To begin the process of Lent, we burn the palm crosses from the previous year to make the ash for Ash Wednesday. As I burned the crosses, this image spoke to me appropriately as ‘return to me with your whole heart’. It was a God moment calling for our return.