Reflections

Category: Mystics and Saints

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Peace Prayer of St. Francis (Happy Feast Day!)

Today is the feast day of beloved St. Francis of Assisi! Roy DeLeon is a fellow Benedictine oblate from St. Placid Priory in Lacey, WA and also a yoga teacher.  He offers this beautiful experience of embodied prayer with St. Francis’ “Peace Prayer.”  Let these words and images enter the depths of your own body and see what you discover about not just thinking peace, but being peace.  Let this be an act of gracious hospitality to love, joy, hope, and light. BMPS – Peace Prayer from Roy DeLeon, OblSB. Make sure to stop by this week’s Photo Party on

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Happy Feast of St. Hildegard!

Underneath all the texts, all the sacred psalms and canticles, these watery varieties of sounds and silences, terrifying, mysterious, whirling and sometimes gestating and gentle must somehow be felt in the pulse, ebb, and flow of the music that sings in me. My new song must float like a feather on the breath of God. —attributed to St. Hildegard of Bingen Happy feast day of St. Hildegard!  This is an exciting year for those of us who love this fiery, powerful medieval Abbess.  She was finally canonized by the Catholic church on May 10th and on October 7th will be

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Happy Feast of Hildegard of Bingen

Today is the Feast of Hildegard of Bingen, here is a reprint from an earlier blog post last year about my love for her: Hildegard of Bingen was my doorway into the Benedictine life.  While in graduate school I was studying for my “History of Christian Spirituality” comprehensive examination (a fearful and awesome task if there ever was one) and actually had a slight disdain for those ancient monks.  My spirituality up until that point had been quite infused by the Ignatian vision of working for justice.  I was turned off by the body-denying practices of monasticism (at least in

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The Saints in Walgreens

These have been very full days.  Last Wednesday the Novena of Grace began, which is a nine-day preached retreat in everyday life hosted by the Ignatian Spirituality Center where I work half-time as Program Coordinator.  Essentially there are two services each day, midday and early evening, and participants can choose one to attend in the midst of their everyday life.  As a part of this service we offer prayers at the end with relics, which are tiny fragments of the remains of Saints, in this case Ignatian ones such as St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius of Loyola.  The Catholic tradition is nothing,

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Happy Feast of St Francis

I went back to read what I wrote last year and found that it expresses pretty well what I want to say on this day we celebrate one of my favorite Saints, so here’s a slightly edited and updated version: Francis is known for many things, his life of poverty, his commitment to peace, and especially his great love of animals and all creation. He is often depicted with creatures at his side and this feast day is celebrated with a “Blessing of the Animals.”  I remember attending such a service when we lived in Berkeley with our previous dog Duke.  There in the pews

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Living Out the New Creation

I have a deep affinity for crows and ravens as they seem to connect two important parts of my life together.  Ravens and crows are a part of the same Corvidae or Crow family with ravens being larger and perferring wilder places. Saint Benedict (whose Feast Day is today) is often depicted with a raven by his side because legend has it that a raven saved him from eating poisoned bread. Special connections and relationships to animals were once a sign of holiness.  Thomas Merton wrote in one of his letters that this is what the monastic life is ideally all about: “the

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