Getting Fully Dressed

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM    February 13, 2022

Today is a rarity in my world: though I woke up at 4:30 am, I didn’t move. I simply savored the comfort of the flannel sheets and the utter stillness of the room. I also savored what my calendar revealed: no need to get myself moving immediately into the day, on to a cup of tea, on to a quick shower, on to a car in need of defrosting.

So I lingered in bed for a while, giving thanks for what is surely a life of acknowledged privilege: That I make my home in an environment that’s welcoming, safe, and nurturing of my creative spirit. That I belong to a community that inspires, challenges, and offers my life meaning. That I have friends and family who love and cherish me. That I’ve been granted expansive educational opportunities and profound life-changing experiences. That every day my spirituality ministry brings me into an arena where I get to witness the Holy at work in people’s lives.

I was in one of those arenas yesterday when I offered a retreat for our IHM Associates. I was moved by witnessing their joy in coming together, their hunger for spirituality, the depth of their own lives of prayer. And then, I was emotionally spent, with no thought of writing this blog. When I climbed into bed exhausted, I prayed for Spirit and for words.

This morning, it was my fuzzy, raggedy slippers that spoke to me. Over time, they’ve conformed themselves to the shape of my gnarled toes and bony feet. They feel like home. They feel like a blessing. And they reminded me of Julian Norwich’s comments about putting on God like a garment, because every morning when I slip my feet into them, I pray that the Holy One will walk with me into the day ahead. In My Soul in Silence Waits, Margaret Guenther stretched that image of God to “a favorite roomy sweater, a little baggy in just the right places, or maybe a soft old bathrobe.”  St. Paul called it putting on the mind of Christ (Romans 13:14) like a piece of clothing. (But apparently Paul didn’t share my practice of lounging in bed because the Message Bible’s translation of his words is, “Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger…Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!”)

Source unknown

So what does it mean to clothe ourselves in the Holy? In Putting on the Mind of Christ, Jim Merion notes that to clothe ourselves in the Holy, to put on the mind of Christ, is not just to admire Christ but to acquire his consciousness. This is beyond questions of wardrobe. This is about acting as the Holy One would. How do we see the world through the eyes of God or feel with the divine heart? How do we clothe ourselves in compassion so that we move closer to fulfillment God’s dream of abundant life for everyone? How do we put on the garment of healing for a world both beautiful and broken?

These are the big questions that came from my frayed and tattered slippers. It seems I won’t be discarding them any time soon. After all, they brought me to this. And then they brought me to you.


Sit in stillness with the Holy One.
If you have a garment that expresses your image of God, hold it, or wear it, or imagine it.
Ask to be in sync with the beating heart of the Holy One.
Ask to see with the eyes with which God gazes at our world.

Wrap this worldview around yourself, and linger in this image.

Featured image:  Source unknown


Thank you for your prayerful support of all who were part of the retreat day I led for IHM Associates. Their living of IHM spirituality continues to inspire all who know them.

On February 14, as we celebrate the feast of love known as Valentine’s Day, know that you who follow, support, and comment on Mining the Now are specially in my heart and prayer.

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7 thoughts on “Getting Fully Dressed”

  1. Thank you for some powerful imagery and words, even though you were exhausted!!
    I love Julian of Norwich.

  2. Sometimes, Chris, we do need to “rest in the Lord”. Glad you did that for a little while this morning!

  3. What a blessing to receive these beautiful posts. Every time you write we are filled with goodness, joy and openness to what the Holy One is inviting us to see through what you see. Right now I am in my comfortable slippers and I know God is near. Have a blessed Valentines Day!

  4. This is a beautiful reflection for Valentine’s Day. I think the world is seeing the power of LOVE and HOPE ever so slowly in God’s time. You help me to think positively and to see that God is Loving AND more powerful than all the hate.Happy Valentine’s Day.

  5. Happy St. Valentine’s Day! I just love that the HS is so faithful in inspiration to you, and to so many. I am wearing my old ratty jacket that I keep on a chair –it has holes in the fraying cuffs and while God is of course perfect, my sweatshirt jacket gives me great comfort in it’s imperfections. It reminds me of God’s love and warmth, and God will always love me in my own rattiness and holes. My favorite scripture is Col.3:12 – which begins: Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved heartfelt compassion, kindness, humlity, gentleness and patience….” Some wonderful virtues to wear!

  6. Many thanks for your wardrobe insights Chris! 🙂
    I did feel the flannel sheets…they are comforting. My toes wiggled in my comfy slippers and I thanked God that I too have abundant blessings. YOU are one. Also the red cardinal that repeatedly bumps into my bedroom window most mornings. 🙂
    But mostly I followed you in your journey and asked myself how I too count on God’s blessings to get me through my day, my journey. So often I ask “what would Jesus do?” when confronted with challenges. I rely on my Guardian Angel, the Blessed Mother, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I thank God Every Day. How fortunate I am to have been raised in love and taught by IHM Sisters. I miss my IHM Friends who are the best support group I have ever known!
    God Bless you.

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