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Give Me a Word 2022

In ancient times, wise men and women fled out into the desert to find a place where they could be fully present to the divine and to their own inner struggles at work within them. The desert became a place to enter into the refiner’s fire and be stripped down to one’s holy essence. The desert was a threshold place where you emerged different than when you entered.

Many people followed these ammas and abbas, seeking their wisdom and guidance for a meaningful life. One tradition was to ask for a word – this word or phrase would be something on which to ponder for many days, weeks, months, sometimes a whole lifetime. This practice is connected to lectio divina, where we approach the sacred texts with the same request – “give me a word” we ask – something to nourish me, challenge me, a word I can wrestle with and grow into. The word which chooses us has the potential to transform us.

What is your word for the year ahead? A word which contains within it a seed of invitation to cross a new threshold in your life?

Share your word in the comments section below by January 6, 2022 and you are automatically entered for the prize drawing (prizes listed below).


As in past years, we are offering all Abbey newsletter subscribers a gift: a free 12-day online mini-retreat with a suggested practice for each day to help your word choose you and to deepen into your word once it has found you. Even if you participated last year, you are more than welcome to register again.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and you will receive a link to start your mini-retreat today. Your information will never be shared or sold. (If you are already subscribed to the newsletter, look for the link in the Sunday, December 5th email and at the bottom of each Sunday following).


Please share your word with us in the comments below

(and it would be wonderful if you included a sentence about what it means for you)

Subscribe to the Abbey of the Arts newsletter to receive ongoing inspiration in your in-box. You can choose daily, weekly, or monthly. Share the love with others and invite them to participate. Then stay tuned – on January 9th we will announce the prize winners!

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79 Responses

  1. My word for this year is light. I had others but this one keeps coming back to me and I think it chose me, so there you are. It’s mine. With grace, more will be revealed.

  2. The words that came up for me and have similar meaning were press on and perservere – good reminders that the path of the Christ-follower, the monk and the artist is not an easy one, but it is a good one. Here is my acrostic poem:
    Pause, perceive, appreciate, create
    Exult in God my Saviour and in God’s creation
    Respect Rhythms
    Savour silence daily
    Examine myself daily
    Embody God’s love and grace
    Remember who I am, whose I am and those who came before
    Express gratitude and creativity

  3. Purity of Intention is my word/focus for 2022. As the pandemic continues to change all of our lives, even my more limited expression and action needs a clear purpose. Purity of Intention seems to have called out to me.

  4. My word is “unfolding”. A story unfolds, the future unfolds, a sheet of paper unfolds and reveals words written on it – or creates a space for words to be written. Something which has been folded up opens out. There is room to explore, create, and be surprised. Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this retreat.

  5. The word that seems to be settling in is “what.” It feels appropriate, as I am excited to be hungry right now, and questions are one of the things that feed my spirit. It also makes me think of some of the questions Jesus asked that are at the heart of my present journey, like “What are you looking for?” and “What do you want me to do for you?” (And of course, there is my perennial question of God: “You want me to do what?!?”) Blessings to all as you receive and engage with your words in the year to come!

  6. My Word for this year is Become,
    It arrived on the second or third night of tis retreat. I was about to put down my novel and turn out the light when it just came, loud and clear. And it stayed through the retreat and is here with me now.
    Thank you Christine and team for all you give us.

  7. From Inge Z:

    My word (phrase) is ‘Fierce Self-Compassion’ – yes, from reading Kristin’Neff’s book of that title. But the longing for Fierce Self-Compassion has been emerging for a while, perhaps in last winter’s Abbey “Midwinter God’ program, slowly becoming more conscious. I need to include Fierce Self Compassion along with Tender Self Compassion for wholeness and healing.

  8. The word “Grace” chose me for this year. Calling upon the grace of the Divine to guide me in all that I do and especially to pause, breathe and focus on the present.