In the northern hemisphere we are moving toward springtime and the ever-growing light. We invite you to pray with this text from the Song of Songs:
For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
–Song of Songs 2:11-13
How Community Lectio Divina works:
Each 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. The text for prayer is above.
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 4000 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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Two messages shimmered for me. “The times of pruning the vines has come.” This is a perfect reminder for me at this Eastertide. The other is “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come.” That God calls me “my beloved, my beautiful one” reassures me that, though my vines are overgrown and tangled, I am beloved and beautiful in God’s eyes. Holding that knowledge in my heart lightens the weight of clearing the way to the brambles.
I have just finished (I thought) changing out my closet . . . putting my heavy, warm winter clothes into the storage room and taking out the lighter, brighter (happier?) clothes to put in my everyday closet. I usually weed out/prune my winter clothes as I do this, but I didn’t this year. It is hard work — painful emotionally to me — to let go of things that I have loved and enjoyed and that have served me — but may be a bit scruffy around the edges or have a stubborn stain that will not go away or that may not be “me” anymore. Somehow it seems disloyal (it feels strange and embarrassing to write that) to discard or give away something that has been of such service to me. Should I “make” myself wear these clothes yet again — even though they no longer are what I need or want? I may be writing about clothes, but the deeper truth I am aware of is that I am also talking about other things in my life . . . belongings, yes. . .but also ways that I nurture myself and my soul, sedentary habits that used to feel ok but that keep me from answering the call of long hikes or bike rides, continuing to worship at a parish that felt like home but now has an edge and style that is different from what my soul longs for . . . “Arise” — that is what is calling me from this passage. Awake and get up — follow God’s call to what really gives life. Yes . . .
“…the time of pruning the vines has come,” I didn’t want it to be this phrase at first because it seems painful, and I do often try to avoid things that might cause pain. But further contemplation and having done this last week with my flowering plants, lets me know that the clearing away of what is dead yields room for beautiful flowering. So I am called to do some pruning in my life, and to look upon those tasks not as necessary harm, but as getting rid of what no longer serves me and making room for something more full and beautiful.