Invitation to Community Lectio Divina: Honoring Saints & Ancestors

With November we offer a new invitation for contemplation. Our focus for this month is honoring saints and ancestors. The month of November is traditionally a time when the Christian Community remembers those who have died. And so we are inviting you to welcome in the wisdom of those who have gone before us.

I invite you into a lectio divina practice with some words from the Letter to the Hebrews.

How Community Lectio Divina works:

button-lectioEach 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).

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.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us.

— Hebrews 12:1

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 2400 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.

Join the Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group here>>

*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

Monk in the World Guest Post: Almut Furchert, PhD

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Almut Furchert’s reflection, “Contemplating the Poignancy of Motherhood: A Mother’s Day Reflection.” Some experiences are universally shared, like the pain and joy

Read More »

7 Responses

  1. I created this mandala for All Souls Day. I focused on the “cup” at the center as “Christ” at the center. All the souls are honored by the feathers, stones and leaves in the four directions. The seed in the center when viewed closely has striations that are very beautiful. This was a wonderful reflection for me on being surrounded by that cloud of witnesses.

    1. This image of the mandala and writing goes with my above comment in response to Hebrews 12:1, shimmering on “cloud of witnesses”

      ALL SOULS DAY

      As the leaves have changed
      red and yellow to purple and brown
      pliable and strong to crisp and fragile

      The living have gathered their fill
      Storing what they need for the barren winter ahead
      Leaving their empty shells and scattered feathers

      Striations of wear from the growth and separation
      Bare in the depths of emptiness
      The nut’s shell like a barren womb

      Visible beauty of life’s movements
      Etched deep inside
      A journey of transformation

      Our hearts like this vessel, opening through the seasons of life
      Have etchings deep inside, evidence of our journey
      May our hearts empty to make visible the deeper beauty

      May God’s love flow easily into our empty vessel
      Filling with love, overflowing
      May God’s love flow through our hearts to others

      For all the souls that have made this journey
      For all the souls that are on this journey
      For all the souls yet to come…………May we remain an open vessel for God’s love

      1. Hi Pam,
        I am a new SoulCollage(R) facilitator. I really love the poem you wrote and am responding to ask permission to use it for a SoulCollage(R) class. Many classes I have gone to have been based on a poem or reading of some sort as a focus for the class. I did not want to use it without your permission.
        You can respond to my email@rchurtwash@hotmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
        Rhonda Hurt

    2. This is a writing that was done with reflection of the mandala. In response to Hebrews 12:1, shimmering on “cloud of witnesses”

      ALL SOULS DAY

      As the leaves have changed
      red and yellow to purple and brown
      pliable and strong to crisp and fragile

      The living have gathered their fill
      Storing what they need for the barren winter ahead
      Leaving their empty shells and scattered feathers

      Striations of wear from the growth and separation
      Bare in the depths of emptiness
      The nut’s shell like a barren womb

      Visible beauty of life’s movements
      Etched deep inside
      A journey of transformation

      Our hearts like this vessel, opening through the seasons of life
      Have etchings deep inside, evidence of our journey
      May our hearts empty to make visible the deeper beauty

      May God’s love flow easily into our empty vessel
      Filling with love, overflowing
      May God’s love flow through our hearts to others

      For all the souls that have made this journey
      For all the souls that are on this journey
      For all the souls yet to come…………May we remain an open vessel for God’s love

  2. The word that shimmered for me in this text is “surrounded”. This stirred up in me a sense of being embraced and uplifted; it lets me feel hope and courage in this embrace. It offers an invitation to say yes. Yes to the day, yes to each opportunity, yes to the inopportune, yes to my unique journey.

  3. The phrase that speaks to me in this text is: “…let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us…” Why is it we cling so voraciously to the things that harm us? Why do we repel the notion that our instincts and intuitions are “sinful?” Why do we question our right – really our “duty” to doubt what has been “spoon-fed” to us about God and our true relationship with the Divine? At this human, base level, we think we’re so smart ..so enlightened; but the “cloud of witnesses” – those that have already crossed over – are probably screaming their heads off for us to WAKE UP!! Sin. Could it be another word for stupidity? Another word for ignorance? There is such an opportunity to school ourselves by looking at things differently. Repent = turn around. Go at this living from a new tack. It sounds so simple. Is that why we can believe, as Julian of Norwich says: “and in the end, all will be well.” ?

Comments are closed.