Reflections

Category: Lent Easter

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Cultivating Eyes of the Heart (Part 2) ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Our habitual ways of perceiving the world, which help us navigate things like stopping at a red light or stop sign, also stand in the way of seeing the world in fresh and new ways. So often, we are looking for information, rather than truly seeing. I find inspiration in the ancient practice of lectio divina, or sacred reading.  In lectio, we read scripture and listen for what word or phrase is shimmering. This practice is always in service of contemplative vision in daily life.  Lectio invites us to slowly see more and more of the world as a sacred

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Cultivating Eyes of the Heart (Part 1) ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, The Gospels are filled with stories about seeing, or not seeing, as the case may be.  On the road to Emmaus the disciples are walking with Jesus and breaking bread with him.  We read that their “eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:16) When Jesus returns in resurrected form, he is fully embodied, yet hard for them to see clearly.  The disciples do not expect their dear friend to be among them again and so they miss this truth with their limited vision. We find a similar emphasis on vision in the story of

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Easter Blessings: Practicing Resurrection ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, Lent is a powerful season of transformation. Forty days in the desert, stripped of our comforts, and buoyed by our commitment to daily practice so that we might arrive at the celebration of Easter deepened and renewed. But often, we arrive at the glorious season of resurrection and celebrate for that one day, forgetting it is a span of 50 days, even longer than the Lenten season through which we just traveled.  Easter is not just the day when the tomb was discovered empty, but a span of time when days grow longer in the northern

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Join us for an online retreat this Lent ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks and artists, I am delighted that John Valters Paintner will be taking the lead on our Lenten retreat online. He has a great love for the scriptures, and taught them at the high school level for many years. The upcoming retreat is the fruit of years of his reflection on exploring some overarching themes in the Bible. What follows is an overview of what the retreat will cover and the rich questions you will be invited to explore: Week 1: Introduction The Bible is not a single, declarative statement of fact. It is a series of competing voices

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Practicing the Resurrection of the Body for Easter ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks and artists, Lent is a powerful season of transformation. Forty days in the desert, stripped of our comforts, and buoyed by our commitment to daily practice so that we might arrive at the celebration of Easter deepened and renewed. But often, we arrive at the glorious season of resurrection and celebrate for that one day, forgetting it is a span of 50 days, even longer than the Lenten season through which we just traveled.  Easter is not just the day when the tomb was discovered empty, but a span of time when days grow longer in the northern

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Easter Blessings: Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks and artists, Happy Easter dear monks! How will you celebrate these 50 days of resurrection? We invite you to consider joining us for Eyes of the Heart, an online retreat on the contemplative practice of photography which starts tomorrow. The season of Easter spans 50 days of celebrating the resurrection and culminating in Pentecost.  Yet, for many of us, Easter Sunday comes and goes and we forget this call to practice resurrection in an ongoing way.  We, perhaps, aren’t sure how to bring resurrection into daily life. The stories we hear during the Easter season highlight the resurrected life

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A Different Kind of Fast: Part Seven – Embrace Mystery

Dearest monks and artists, Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the plowshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring, and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird; keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guests, an altar for an unknown God. — from Amiel’s Journal, translated by Mrs. Humphrey Ward John Cassian, one of the ancient desert fathers, describes three renunciations he says are required of all of us on the spiritual journey. The

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