Reflections

Category: Advent Christmas Epiphany

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What is it the Season For? ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I had a beloved spiritual director years ago when I lived in the San Francisco Bay area during graduate school who often asked me this question: What is it the season for? I loved this question because my creative heart was always full of new ideas, but one of my great invitations in life has been to discern the season I am in and what it calls for – to say no or not yet to many of the creative ideas stirring in me, to listen for what is truly ripe, to make space for

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A Celebration of Stuff ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, In 2012 my husband and I decided to embark on a life adventure. We were living in Seattle and had been traveling to Europe twice a year to explore ancestral landscapes. He was growing more in need of a sabbatical from his position as high school theology teacher. I had recently applied for and received Austrian citizenship through my father. Between February and May, we began to sort through our things. It is amazing what accumulates in nine years in one place even in a small apartment with only three closets. “Honey, I just found

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Sacred Time: An Online Retreat for Advent & Christmas

  Advent invites us into the holy practice of waiting and attending the birth that is coming. Christmas calls us to celebrate that birth with wonder and awe. Our culture tells us the season should be filled with shopping and rushing. The wisdom of ancient monastic practices tells us that this is a time for pausing, savoring, and soaking in awe and wonder. Instead of becoming overwhelmed this year during the holidays, let this be an opportunity to move into a new set of rhythms which cultivate slowness through seasonal awareness. Imagine arriving at the New Year, not exhausted, but

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Week 4 Advent Practices: Considering Our Earthiness

This is a weekly Advent series by Christine from the Abbey archives. If praying with the four elements kindles a spark in you, consider my book Water, Wind, Earth, & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements. In the scriptures for this fourth week of Advent we hear in the gospel the story of Mary’s Annunciation. She was asked to consent to become the earthen vessel through which God could be born into a world of flesh and blood. The story of Advent and Christmas is essentially about God becoming enfleshed in the earthiness of the world. God enters creation and blesses our

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Week 3 Advent Practices: Water’s Wisdom

This is a weekly Advent series by Christine from the Abbey archives. If praying with the four elements kindles a spark in you, consider my book Water, Wind, Earth, & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements. The bass and trout hiding in the deep pools of the river are canonized by their beauty and their strength. The lakes hidden among the hills are saints, and the sea too is a saint who praises God without interruption in her majestic dance. —Thomas Merton For this third week of Advent I invite you to consider the element of water as an inspiration

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Week 2 Advent Practices: Following the Fire

This is a weekly Advent series by Christine from the Abbey archives. If praying with the four elements kindles a spark in you, consider my book Water, Wind, Earth, & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements. Every being is praising God The fire has its flame and praises God. The wind blows the flame and praises God. In the voice we hear the word which praises God. And the word, when heard, praises God. So all of creation is a song of praise to God.  —Hildegard of Bingen In the first week of our Advent series we focused on the

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Week 1 Advent Practices: Breathing Deeply

This is a weekly Advent series by Christine from the Abbey archives. If praying the with the four elements kindles a spark in you, consider my book Water, Wind, Earth, & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements. As we enter these four weeks of Advent, we cross into a holy time when the scriptures are filled with images of expectancy as we await the coming of a God who enters into the heart of this world. I invite you during these next four weeks to embrace this season as a time to tend to your relationship to creation. As we

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