Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Invitation to Photography: Sacred Ordinary

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 Visio Divina practice with our latest in the dancing monk icon series of St. Francis of Assisi. In praying with this image myself I am struck by Francis dancing amongst the creatures and in the midst of the construction happening behind him. Being a “dancing monk” for me means to dance with whatever life brings, to yield to the sacred in the most ordinary of moments.

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 “sacred ordinary” 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

You might also enjoy

New Monk in the World Self-Study Retreat!

We are pleased to announce the release of our revised and expanded Monk in the World retreat! The retreat is an 8 week self-study that explores the principles of The Monk Manifesto. The new version includes: Registration is offered on a sliding scale and all

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Naimi Gonzalez

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Naimi Gonzalez’s reflection learning to be present through lectio divina. I am in the beginning stages of learning to be more contemplative

Read More »

7 Responses

  1. Last Tuesday, I took my camera on a Lectio Visio to a place of beauty I know well. To my great surprise, and pleasure, it had been transformed into a scene of even greater splendour, radiance and – for me – Divine Presnce, not by Wordswoth’s ‘Host of golden daffodils’, but by this carpet of ‘shimmering’ buttercups! How can one be anything but supremely grateful?

  2. I spent a month on retreat about six months ago. It was the first time I had ever done this and, one day, while in meditation and prayer I looked up and out the window of the cabin where I was staying. I saw this grand beam through the trees. I grabbed my camera and ran out to photograph this.

    In that moment …
    God said, “I hear you.”
    In that moment
    God reminded me, “I am here for you.”

  3. What beautiful and inspiring images of Spirit, fresh air, and movement into what is life giving. thank you for sharing!

  4. Forgiveness challenge of Rev Tutu & Mpho births this poem. I am always so inspired by how their nation overcame the pain and suffering of apartheid with Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by Rev Tutu and pray we can do the same for our Native Americans.

    In the forest cathedral of ascending pines
    Were red wild flowers are like ringing bells
    I listen to the wind song of forgiveness
    Dancing leaves breathe a Spirit song
    Warbling birds join in and hummingbirds with irridescent wings
    Sip necter of wild Glory
    The Easter season is full of Alleluias
    The Risen One comes as to Thomas
    See my wounds…I have arisen and breathe Peace
    “Smooth out the ache and let hurt out in the sunlight”
    Reverend Tutu and Mpho whisper to my heart
    “Tell the story, name the hurt, grant forgiveness
    Renew or release the relationship”
    The heart cracks open… let the tears flow
    Living waters wash away the pain
    Streams of Infinite Mercy arise
    A wellspring of Ineffable Light suffuses the world
    As one by one we say: I forgive you

  5. I wandered around an exquisite botanical garden over Mother’s day, feeling the weight of my own mother’s absence, fully aware of how she would love the beauty of the paths I was walking. My heart was captured by this place and, in particular, the simple wooden chairs in this photo. An invitation to stop, rest in the glory of spring and newness and let God’s stillness become my own. Maybe, as I rested here a while, He would bedeck me with a similar beauty, simple and clean. These chairs became sanctuary, tabernacle. Sacred. Invitation. Simple. Ordinary. Transforming.

  6. Arise and bloom! Is such affirmation for me. Just 2 weeks ago I stepped away from a toxic secular work scenario. It was the ending of a 30 year business career. I stepped forward to bloom in seminary and work on a MA-Pastoral Counseling towards becoming a Chaplain. A favorite statue near my old work captures the excitement and freedom I feel. See the photo I am sharing. Thanks be to God! for new chapters.

    1. Beth…..a great image of the freedom of Spirit. We need good and compassionate chaplains. I just retired as a chaplain and director of a hospital. A most rewarding and perpetual spiritual experience. Blessings, CArol