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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. Curious, who carved this heart? Does it really matter who, no it does not. It only matters that I saw it and was inspired.

  2. I have no idea what tree the dove-like “bird/decaying leaf” is from but I love how it is returning to the full heart stone. This image shimmered along-side the road for me this morning on my walk.

    1. Yes Yes Yes! So beautiful Barbara, and a gift to us all, that you looked down at this moment to notice.

  3. The smaller heart nestled in the center of the Larger Heart awakens me to deeper trust in the Holy…

  4. One heart cradled by another Larger Heart… this picture awakens a sense of deep trust in the Holy…

    1. today I could do with a little of that stillness – time to think and embrace the love that surrounds me – I find peace in that photo and a sense of longing – wonderful !

  5. “Return back to me with your whole heart” can be so simple, so quiet, and so hard to see. Yet in that stillness, what more is there to do but to surrender to Love.

  6. with peace and love – I soar home with a whole heart-

    I designed a piece of stained glass with my mother years ago – this is at the center of it – Although my mom is gone- I am reminded of my mother’s love and peace as I gaze upon the dove – whole and unconditional – the love of God for me – whole and unconditional and my journey to God with all my whole heart

    1. My grandma was big on creating stained glass and I have several pieces that she made for me. I always smile when I come across them and think of her.

  7. Well there is nothing life an experiment in posting, is there?
    When I checked the image posted how surprised I was to see the “Full Sun”!

    the following is the one I really wished to post on this topic of
    “Return to God with my Whole Heart!”

    It is called “The Place Within!” and represents my whole being returning to the only Place of rest, which is in God, the Real Unknown of my constant seeking!

    1. Sister Helen, this is glorious! Just looking at this photo, I feel I am there, and my breathing slows, and I begin to quickly return to.. the ‘Place of Rest’. thank you.

  8. Not sure how this will work! But, I found this beautiful image of a sunset. It represents for me the “Sunset of my Life” as I slowly return to God with my “whole heart!”

  9. I was gifted with this experience not long ago and I find that it represents the ultimate return to our creator. As I wandered through the thousands of stones in the massive cemetery, I reflected on all of the Saints that have gone before us and made the journey back to the original heart. After so much loss and sorrow this past winter, this experience reminded me that death is merely another phase of life…

    1. I love this picture – for whatever reason I see the headstones as almost ghosts themselves -another reminder that the grave was conquered and those before have gone ahead –

    2. I am entranced by the ethereal beauty of this photo, Joylynn, and your writing is very beautiful and moving, …”the journey back to the original heart”….oh wow, that is beautiful and mystical, and the setting sun seems to emphasize it. thank you.