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Category: Monks and Mystics


Celtic Spirituality Retreat + Day 3 Mary Prayer Cycle ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, We continue this week with the release of our Day 3 Birthing the Holy video podcast that accompanies my book Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal. Day 3 Morning and Evening Prayer take the themes of Star of the Sea and Vessel of Grace.  Here is an excerpt from Day 3 Morning: Opening Prayer Stella Maris, Mary, Star of the Sea, we look to the night sky to see your brilliance shining upon the world. Be with us as a guiding light and safe harbour on our journey of surrender and trust. Show

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Julian of Norwich in Her Sick Bed ~ A Love Note and Poem Video from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I am delighted to share I have a third poetry collection being published on May 9th from Paraclete Press titled Love Holds You: Poems and Devotions for Times of Uncertainty.  I have long loved the wisdom of Julian but like many, when the pandemic arrived, she became my patron saint of lockdown and compassionate retreat. She herself lived during times of plague, so knew the fears of times like that. Her gift to me was as a companion during the long quiet days full of the ordinary graces of life.  Since then I have had my own

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The Joy of God’s Love: Julian of Norwich

We are delighted to welcome Carl McColman on Saturday, May 13th (the feast of Julian!) to lead us in a mini-retreat on her wisdom about divine love.  This is an excerpt from his book, Christian Mystics: 108 Seers, Saints and Sages (published by Broadleaf Books). Julian of Norwich wrote a beautiful book about her visions, but it reveals very few details about her life; in fact, we have no idea what her real name is. The name by which she is known comes from her association with the Church of Saint Julian in the English town of Norwich, where at some point in her life she

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Visionary, Healer, Warrior, Sage ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dear monks, artists, and pilgrims, One of my favorite ways to do inner work is through the archetypes which are patterns or energies we find inside ourselves and appear across the globe in different traditions. They come to us as dreams, longings, synchronicities. I’ve written about them more extensively in Illuminating the Way where I connect archetypes like Mother, Prophet, Healer, Sovereign to the monks and mystics of the Christian and Jewish traditions. I also explored them in my book Birthing the Holy where I explored 31 names of Mary, each representing a different archetype like Virgin, Mother of Sorrows, Our Lady of the

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Desert Wisdom and the Practice of Love ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Next Saturday we continue our pilgrimage through the mystics when I will be leading a retreat on desert father St. Anthony the Great and desert wisdom. St. Anthony, also known as Anthony the Great, is considered to be the founder of the Christian monastic movement.  He moved into the desert at the end of the third century to seek solitude and by the end of his life thousands had followed him there to imitate his way of life of extreme asceticism.   Paul of Thebes is recorded as the actual first monk in Christian tradition to live in

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New Year Blessings and Gratitude ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, For the last 14 years we have hosted our annual Give Me a Word mini-retreat and invitation for you to share your word for the year with our community. You can find out more about it at this post. Some years my word comes quickly and some years it demands a lot more listening and waiting until I receive it. Sometimes I feel certain the word is shimmering and other times I am uncertain and so hold whatever seems to come lightly and with openness.  As many of you know the first half of last year was a

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Thomas Merton + Prayer Cycle Day 5 ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, In November and December, we are releasing our brand new 7-day prayer cycle of morning and evening prayers on the theme of Soul of a Pilgrim. The audio podcasts for Day 5 morning and evening prayer are being released today on the theme of Being Uncomfortable and Embracing Mystery! This is one of the many free resources we offer to our community to help support your contemplative practice and prayer. (If you are able to support this work financially in any way, we gratefully accept contributions at this link.)  We continue our pilgrimage through the mystics next

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