#Adventword

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Wind Chimes: 7 Mar 2013

Barely a whisper of wind today. But if you listen carefully, really listen, … what do you hear?

SSJE Praying Our Lives: Listen

Which statement most resembles your current “prayer life”?

  • (A) Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.
  • (B) Listen Lord, for your servant is speaking.

Brother Geoffrey Tristram offers a short meditation on prayer, silence, and listening. Consider it an invitation as you pray this Lenten season.

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Image: Bouquet of the Desert by Алексей Мазницин on LensArt.ru

Wind Chimes: 23 Nov 2012

A lake reflection

[Hannah] was deeply distressed
and prayed to the Lord,
and wept bitterly.

Hannah was praying silently;
only her lips moved,
but her voice was not heard

1 Samuel 1:10, 13 NRSV

Like a prayer, again, the wind sounds the chimes. What do you hear?

Prayer as a quest

The purpose of prayer is not prayer. The purpose of prayer is to come to love God as much as possible with all the insights into the nature and presence of God this world allows. […] in prayer we are seeking the God who is seeking us. … Prayer is the process of learning to listen.

“So What is the Prayer Life?” in Ideas in Passing by Joan Chittister (05/16/2011) excerpted from The Breath of the Soul: Reflections on Prayer by Joan Chittister (Twenty-Third Publications)

Prayer, like breathing …

Prayer is more like breathing. At times we may be especially conscious of it.…But breathing is never just one more task on our list of things to do. It is essential to life; without it we die. Prayer, like breathing, is essential to our life in God. Without it, our spiritual lives cannot be sustained.

From “Prayer” on Brother Give Us a Word a daily meditation of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE).

Be still

God says, “Be still and know that I am God.
I will be praised in all the nations;
I will be praised throughout the earth.”

Psalm 46:10 (New Century Version)

Photo: by Wing-Chi Poon on Wikimedia Commons

God’s mission

“The Church is part of God’s mission and work
but by no means the entirety.”

This is the “Word” given today by Brother Kevin Hackett, SSJE. It stopped me (first) and then awakened me to affirm that God has no boundaries, no constraints, in proclaiming everywhere, at all times, through agents of all kinds, the magnificence and wonder of Divine Love at work in all of the created order. Read Brother Hackett’s Word for Today: Brother, Give Us A Word | Subscribe to a Daily Meditation from the SSJE Brothers.

Here is an Index of the “Words” spoken: Brother Give Us A Word Index

Where do you see God at work accomplishing the mission of transforming the created order with Divine Love? Your comments are invited and welcome.

Are you ready for another timely word?

Words are important. We use a lot of words in the Sunday Morning Forum. We hear a lot of words—from scripture and from each other. In Sunday’s Gospel account (12/4/11) we heard that John “appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Mark 1:4. Once again the SSJE brothers give us a word:

REPENTANCE

“Repentance is one of the essential words of the Scriptures. It’s found on the lips of the prophets, it’s found on the lips of John the Baptist, and it’s found on the lips of Jesus himself…. We’re almost programmed to expect words like hellfire and brimstone to follow, and sometimes they do, but we can’t avoid it or do without because it is one of our essential words—and practices.”

-Br. Kevin Hackett via Brother, Give Us A Word a ministry of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) in Boston, MA (members are also known as “The Cowley Fathers”)

More on the word:

Repentance: A change of mind or behaviour; this may be attributed even to God in OT (1 Sam. 15: 11). It was demanded of the people whose repentance was often merely formalized in cultic actions and as such condemned by prophets as inadequate and empty (Amos 4: 6; Hosea 6: 4; Isa. 1: 10–17) and without the radical change demanded by the Law. The hope lay in the possibility that one day God would give his people a new heart (Ezek. 36: 26–31) and there would be forgiveness to all who repented (Isa. 1: 18–19). In the NT repentance is called for by John the Baptist (Matt. 3: 9–10) and is to be validated by baptism. The call is repeated by Jesus (Luke 5: 32) and sometimes Paul (e.g. Rom. 2: 4) and in Rev. (2: 5).

“repentance.” In A Dictionary of the Bible. , edited by W. R. F. BROWNING. Oxford Biblical Studies Online http://www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/article/opr/t94/e1610 (accessed 07-Dec-2011).

Wilderness is the word. Ever been there?

Wilderness is a word that marks the Second Week of Advent 2011. In Sunday’s Gospel selection we heard that “John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness” (Mark 1:4).

In your meditations this week consider the word, WILDERNESS. From the timely meditations offered by Suzanne Guthrie let these words help you:

Meditation One (introit)
the inner desert

There is a physical desert, inhabited by a few exceptional men and women who are called to live there; but more importantly, there is an inner desert, into which each one of us must one day venture. It is a void; an empty space for solitude and testing.

-Frere Ivan The Desert and the City quoted from The Desert, An Anthology for Lent

He [John the Baptist] is in the wilderness. Obviously because he finds these surroundings appropriate to his life- the parched solitude, the endless spaces, where no one can feel at home. Inevitably we keep discovering that we too are in the wilderness, the wilderness of a great city, the wilderness of isolation, a wilderness that seems to have no center, a wilderness we cannot feel at home in. And we are also men and women who would live in a wilderness if we have to give our outward environment the shape of that which is within us.

-Karl Rahner 1904-1984 sermon for Advent 3(B) from The Great Church Year

From Soulwork Toward Sunday: self-guided retreat Advent 2 (Year B) | At the Edge of Adventure blog

Have you ever been in the wilderness? Physically? What did you learn? Spiritually? What did you learn? Are you there now? What are you learning?

Are you ready for a timely word?

In the Forum over the last several weeks we have talked about and learned from Moses, our great ancestor in the faith. Brother Give Us A Word is a daily word of wisdom delivered via email. Here is today’s word, as if Br. Geoffrey was listening in to the Forum discussion:

FRIENDSHIP

“Why have you laid the burden of these people on me…? I’ve had enough. I can’t do it anymore. I cannot carry all these people on my own. They’re too heavy for me. I’m so miserable, I’d rather die…” How is it that Moses…dared to speak to God with such a bold and forthright prayer? It is because Moses had, over time, come to know God in a very intimate way. We are told that Moses walked with God and, a couple chapters later in the Book of Numbers, God says, “I am pleased with you Moses. I know you by name….” Moses talked with God in this way because he was God’s friend.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram via Brother, Give Us A Word | Subscribe to a Daily Meditation from the SSJE Brothers.

Brother, Give Us A Word | LISTEN

Brother, Give Us A Word is a daily meditation provided by the brothers of the Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE or the “Cowley Fathers”). As we consider what we do in our Sunday Morning Forum consider today’s (10/21/11) “word.”

Listen

Listening to what God is saying to us in Holy Scripture, in our hearts as we pray and meditate, and as we hear other people speak about God, is important to us as we seek spiritual growth and understanding.

-Br. David Allen

Listen | Brother, Give Us A Word.