Happy New Year! With January we offer a new invitation for contemplation. Starting in December we returned to a monthly focus on our Monk Manifesto themes. Our focus for this month is on the second principle of hospitality:
I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.
The new year brings a sense of renewed hope and beginning again. What will you welcome into your lifes in the year ahead? How will your word for 2015 break open new insights into your journey? How might this be a threshold of possibility?
We also begin the month with a community invitation into the practice of lectio divina. This month we are inviting you to pray with an image as an adaptation of this contemplative practice in the form of visio divina. Rather than adding more words for you to contemplate, we thought the image of a threshold might be more evocative for our theme. The photo above was received by Christine at Heiligenkreuz Monastery outside of Vienna, Austria.
How Community Visio Divina works:
I invite you to set aside some time this week to pray with the image above. Here is a handout with a brief overview of Visio Divina and how you might practice it (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 image, listen to what shimmers, allow the images and memories to unfold, tend to the invitation, and then sit in stillness.
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 image calling to your dancing monk heart in this moment of your life?
What does this image 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?
For further refection on our theme stop by these two columns I wrote for Patheos from the Abbey Archives:
- Welcoming Your Inner Multitude: The Monastic Way and Inner Hospitality
- Radical Hospitality and Holy Disruption
Sharing Your Responses
Please share the fruits of your visio 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 2700 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.
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