The Space We Live Most of Our Lives

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM, March 31, 2018

And so we wait. With whatever is unfinished. With whatever is incomplete. With whatever is held captive by fear, imprisoned by anxiety, entombed by despair. With whatever seems unable to move forward. With whatever longs for wholeness and fullness of life.

Empty tombThis is the waiting of Holy Saturday, which occupies an unusual place in Holy Week, sandwiched somewhere between the wrenching grief and horrific suffering of Good Friday and the exultant confirmation and hope of Easter Sunday.

Absent on Holy Saturday are the dramatic elements of the day before: the sun disappearing and the sky turning black; the curtain in the Temple rent in two pieces; the outpouring of blood and water; the women standing beneath the cross in their collective grief; the earth itself quaking and trembling.

Now that same ground is eerily silent. Now it seems that the last word has been spoken, the final chapter written. Now it appears that the dream of the kin-dom is a song whose end note has been sung. This is Holy Saturday, described by Steve Garnaas-Holmes in Unfolding Light:

“Poor Holy Saturday,
hung out to dry between
Good Friday’s drama
and Easter’s miracle.
Not much going for it,
this empty day bereft of tradition,
just an in-between time.
A day of waiting around,
a day of thinking we knew.

Welcome home.
This is the day we live most of our life in,
the wide space between tragedy and recovery,
the emptiness between the pain and the healing.

Only later, not on this day, do we know
we’re not waiting for a future;
we’re watching God unfold.

That is enough.
That is why this day,
drab and ordinary,
is holy.”

So let’s not be fooled. This day is its own kind of extraordinary. Here in this in-between time, this liminal space, this place where life is already now and not yet, is the where and when of our everyday living. We wait not only with our own stories, but with a global community that also longs for the fullness of God’s dream.Dock to lake copy

In Following Jesus on the Way to Calvary, Joe Nangle, OFM writes that Holy Saturday is a metaphor for where we often find ourselves today, in the in-between times, between life and death, sadness and joy, between what has been and what will be.

He notes that our call is to wait with the world. To wait in the tomb, what he calls “the womb of solidarity”, the place where we are in communion with our neighbors around the globe. At that tomb, in that space, we wait with all those in our world who are longing: for justice, for freedom, for relief from their suffering. In that space, we feel the desire of those who live in deprivation. We’re bruised by the wounds of those who are imprisoned by fear or oppression. We stand with those who are overcome with despair.

“The tomb is cold, dark, and lonely,” Nangle observes. “It smells of death. It is not a comfortable place to be. But it is where the Christian community is called to be.”

Called to be and to wait in the in-between times. Called to be and to wait as carriers of hope. Called to be and to wait as followers who refuse to bury God’s dream for our world. Called to be and to wait as disciples who live resurrection.

Takeaway

Sit in stillness by the tomb of Jesus.
Listen to what he has to say to you as you wait with him.
At what other times in your life have you kept vigil?
What did that waiting feel like? look like?
How did the Holy One companion you at that time?
Sit in solidarity with all those in our world who, at this very moment, are waiting and longing to rise.

Images: fotolia.com

Happy Easter, and thank you for following Mining the Now. Know that I wish you every blessing of new life this Easter and all through the days ahead!

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Searching for Home

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM, March 18, 2018

Call it convergence. Call it repetition. However we might name it, we know that having the same message present itself to our consciousness over and over in myriad shapes or formats demands our attention. Sometimes the invitation calls to us in print, in sound, in image. Whatever form it takes, it is persistent and will not retreat until we’ve either treated it as an intruder and slammed the door shut, or  approached it as a visitor and accepted its invitation for a closer look. So it was for me recently with the word, home.

Homeben-tzion.comcopy Home seemed to pop up in multiple commercials and advertisements. Then I noticed how many times I pressed the “Home” key while writing on my laptop. Next, home arrived in my Inbox in an email from Catholic Relief Services about support for Syrian refugees who live in a kind of limbo, a neither here-nor-there space. They exist between a war-torn country to which they can never safely return and a temporary shelter providing for their basic needs, but with no sense of a permanent residence. The headline on the email about these refugees was, “Help them know home.” Not find home. Know home. To know home is one of the deepest desires of the human heart.

Home was also referenced for me in a video clip where Oprah Winfrey interviewed Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creative genius behind “In the Heights” and “Hamilton.” Miranda noted that being born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents, he very early in life had to navigate different cultural, linguistic, and artistic worlds. He spoke of traveling to Puerto Rico years ago to stage “In the Heights” and coming to the realization that, even though he was of Puerto Rican heritage, his mainland Spanish was sometimes inadequate or made him feel a bit unsettled and out of place in the land of his parents’ birth. In speaking of that experience of being in-between, Miranda observed, “That’s a great way to make a writer—be a little out of place everywhere.”

To be a little out of place, to be not fully at home. Many immigrants, even those who are second or third generation, feel the psychological homelessness that raises its voice in questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? What is truly home for me?

Most probably, all of us at some time have had the experience of being emotionally or geographically distant from the place we love, the place where our heart resides. Perhaps none have expressed this separation, this sense of not-at-homeness, as poignantly as Psalm 137:

“By the waters of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered you, O Zion. On the willows nearby, we hung up our harps. There our captors asked us for a song and called for mirth: ‘Sing for us one of the songs of Zion.’ How could we ever sing God’s song in a foreign land?”

In an online E-course, “Exploring the Psalms,” Barbara Crafton reflects on this same psalm and invites us to imagine what it must have been like to be forced to sing a song of home by the very persons who took home away and changed the understanding of where and what home was. She notes that, even years later when the Israelites were allowed to go home, not everyone left. They’d been in Babylon for years, put down roots as much as was possible, learned the language and customs. “They experienced the peculiar pathos of the immigrant,” she writes, “Fully at home in neither the old country nor the new.”homechristianchroniclecopy

In the gospel of John, Chapter 14, the beloved disciple writes of the tenderness of Jesus who, even in his last moments among us, loved us to the end. Jesus named our deep longing for home as he spoke of the house of Abba God where he was going to prepare room for us.  A dwelling place being lovingly fashioned. A home where all would be forever welcome.

As we stand at the edge of Holy Week, we remember with gratitude how Jesus made his home among us and embraced our human condition with both its glory and its wounds. May we enter into the sacred days of Jesus’ suffering, dying, and rising and accompany him with tenderness on his own journey into homecoming.

Takeaway

Sit in stillness with the Holy One.
Reflect on your sense of home.
What contributes to a sense of well-being, wholeness, and welcome for you?
Who or what do you cherish?
Hold in your prayer the many in our world who are right now searching for safety, security, belonging.
Give thanks that you and all people are held in the tender heart of the Holy One, where every person finds a lasting home.

Images:
amppob.com
ben-tzion.com
christianchronicle.com

NOTE:
Thank you for your continued support of my mobile spirituality ministry. Please now hold in your prayer the last of the Lenten events, a retreat weekend, “Standing at the Edge of Holy Week,” that I’ll be offering at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, PA, March 23-25.

My deep gratitude for your accompanying this blog through every posting. Know that my prayer is for every blessing for you and those you love as we enter Holy Week and the risen life of Easter.

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The Things We Carry

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM, March 4, 2018
Perhaps it’s an arena to which you’ve never given any time or thought. But the recently released official portraits of President Barack and Michelle Obama open the door to this line of imagining and thinking out loud. Suppose you were having an official portrait done. Or suppose your likeness was about to be added to the collection of holy cards that depicts the saints.

What symbol, or image, or object might best sum up your life? What would you be drawn or painted as holding in your hands that would illuminate the core handswithworldcontribution or direction of your life, something for which you were known or remembered, something that would make those intimate with you blink with recognition and say, “Yes, that’s it!” or “Exactly!” or “That’s so you!”

Some years ago, an issue of Outside magazine (April 2011) included an article, “The Things They Carried,” where people close to six daring but departed icons of the sports world told Ryan Krogh their remembrances of elite athletes who didn’t come home alive. Their stories featured the most cherished relics, the signs of the sport they excelled in, the tools or instruments they carried with them. “The Things They Carried” included the hat and ax of a mountain scout; the paddle of a kayaker; pontoon skis; a surfboard. Each thing these lost ones cherished was accompanied by a story to expand on its symbolism.

Slip into many Catholic churches today and you’ll likely see a statue depicting the namesake of that church. Many times, the statues will show the holy ones holding something in their hands that speaks to their life and witness: St. Therese with a bouquet of roses underscoring the blessings she continues to shower on our world; St. Francis of Assisi, surrounded by his relatives in the animal family—a wolf, a dove, a deer; martyrs holding the instruments of their deliverance to death; saints carrying a basket filled with bread as a symbol of their lifelong tending to empty hands and empty bellies.

All of these invite the question: what about us? What are the things we carry? What would best capture the essence of who we are? What might an artist discern and select to memorialize as the best of what we have shared, the most significant of what we have carried into our beautiful, yet wounded world?

Might we be pictured as a person immersed in awareness of the Holy One while at the same time listening and ministering to the needs of family and friends and the cries of our collective wounds? Do we perhaps grace those around us with wisdom mined from our own journey of brokenness to wholeness? Do we embody audacious hope for those whose steps are faltering? Is our spaciousness of heart so large that it can offer welcome even to those who represent the worst aspects of the human condition?

How to image what we hold interiorly in our hearts as being offered to others. Quite challenging, isn’t it? How to symbolize the interior movements of our soul, the stretching toward inclusion, the struggles–both public and unspoken–that have called us to become who we now are. How to illustrate how our lives bless this world.

handsyoungoldAs we take up the call, with God’s grace, to move towards fulfillment whatever is unfinished and incomplete in the lives of our ancestors, might we pause to reflect on how we are also furthering God’s dream for our world in this time and place?  Not an easy practice, but potentially a rich and revealing one.

How about it? What are those things we carry?

Takeaway

Sit in a space of stillness.
Give thanks for all that the Holy One has birthed in your heart and that you have also carried into our world.
Prayerfully gaze at and reflect on your hands.
What have they held, cherished, or shared?
Give thanks and ask that the work of your hands and heart may continue to bless our beautiful, yet wounded world.

Images:
pinterest.com
mariabenning.com
huffingtonpost.com

NOTE:
Thank you for your prayerful support of my ongoing Lenten offerings. Please hold in your prayer these next gatherings that I’ll be leading and all who will be part of them:

March 5–11: Directed Retreat at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, Wernersville, PA
March 16:      Lenten retreat day for the faculty and staff of St. Mark’s High School, Wilmington, DE
Thank you!

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Discovering Our Own Deafness

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM, February 18, 2018

Ephphatha! Be opened! What a wonderful Gospel not only for the close of a retreat experience but for any time when we’ve been discerning how the Holy One has been moving in our lives and for reflecting on what we’ve taken in and truly heard.

In this passage from Mark’s Gospel (Mark 7:31-37), Jesus heals a person who has a double challenge: he’s deaf, and he also has a speech impediment. This may be why Mark writes that “the people brought him to Jesus.” This unnamed person couldn’t hear or speak, so deafnesshe couldn’t even cry out to Jesus in his need. He had to rely on others to intercede for him and to get Jesus’ attention. In this action of the others is an invitation to us also, an invitation to remember with gratitude all those who support and hold us in prayer at any time, but most especially during those times when we can’t seem to speak for ourselves, when our energy or passion is so low that we need others to advocate on our behalf.

Pause for a moment to offer thanks for all who, right at this moment, are holding you in prayer, bringing you to Jesus as the friends of the deaf person did; pause for a moment also to remember anyone in our world who right now is desperately in need of your prayerful encouragement and affirmation.

Whenever I hear this gospel, I think of a man named Benito. I first saw him when I lived in Jersey City, NJ in a high rise apartment building. The residents there were mostly Latino, so my very limited Spanish was sorely tested. But I happily discovered that sometimes we don’t really need words to communicate. From the first moment I moved in, I was so touched by the graciousness of my neighbors, who were constantly asking me “How are you?”, “How are you finding your way around?” “Is there anything you need?” Everyone was helpful. Everyone welcomed me. Everyone except Benito.

Anytime I saw him, it was as if I didn’t exist. When I was with Benito in the elevator, he would always yell “Abierto!” (“Open!) when we reached his floor, and then he’d exit and brush by me without saying a word. In this warm Latino culture, his behavior was a striking contrast to the spirit of all my other gracious neighbors.

If I greeted him with “Good morning” or “Buenos dias” or “How are you?” Benito never responded. Not only that, but he would sometimes brush against me, knock things out of my hand, and never apologize. I began to think, “What’s his problem?” And for weeks I had a single story for him, the only thing I knew about his life. And that single story was Rude. Rude. Rude.

Then one day I was on the elevator with another neighbor and as the doors started to close, Benito walked by.

“Isn’t that a shame about Benito?” my neighbor said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well,” she said. “You know his eyesight is so limited. And he just found out yesterday that his hearing is almost gone.”

In that moment, I wanted the elevator to swallow me whole. Here I had been making all kinds of judgments and sticking negative labels on Benito, when all this time he was struggling like the deaf person in today’s Gospel. He carried the double challenge of both limited sight and loss of hearing.

So which of us, Benito or Chris, was the deaf one? Which of us needed to pray “Abierto!” Open! to the needs of our neighbor?

When my heart was opened in that Ephphatha moment, my view of Benito was turned upside down. He was no longer a single story of rude, rude, rude. He was now a person of courage, navigating a dark and silent world with amazing grace. My judgment, my single story of who I thought him to be, got in the way of the truth of who he actually was.

deaf4This same Holy One who makes the deaf hear and the mute speak is active and alive in us, offering us the grace of his presence and healing. As we move into our day, may we continue to listen. May we live Ephphatha in the days ahead. May we be opened to the invitation to truly hear and offer compassion to all that our world loves, pursues, and suffers.

Ephphatha! Abierto! Amen!

Takeaway

Sit in a place of stillness. Listen intently and openly to the Holy One.
Can you call to mind a time when you might have passed judgment on another?
When your critical judgment based on what you saw or heard turned out to be far from the truth of the other’s reality?
What assumptions might have been underneath your judgment?
How did your view of the other change when you learned the truth of their circumstances or their story?
Ask the Holy One to bathe you in compassion and in openness of heart.

Images:
pinterest.com
tarabrach.com
steadfastlutheran.com

NOTE:
Thank you for your prayerful remembrance of all who were part of the guided retreat for the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa February 4-9. Today’s blog post is adapted from a reflection I offered on the closing day of that retreat.

Please now hold in your prayer these upcoming experiences:

February 21: Retreat day for the staff of RENEW International at Mount St. Mary House of Prayer, Watchung, NJ

February 26: Retreat day for Regional Vocation Directors at Emmaus House, Ocean Grove, NJ
Thank you!

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Listening as an Act of Love

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM for February 4, 2018

 

When were you last deeply listened to by another?

Listened to without unsought advice being offered or judgment being expressed? Listened to by someone who wasn’t simply counting the seconds until your pause or intake of breath created an opening for the listener to jump in and offer you the wisdom of their years of experience? Listened to without being told, “I know just how you feel,” listeninghandtoearfollowed by the listener’s recounting of their story, perhaps a similar parallel event, but one that was not your story. When were you last so fully and attentively heard that you felt not only listened to but also valued and affirmed?

Many years ago in a survey, people were asked to recall a moment when they felt most deeply loved. Most of the responses indicated a striking similarity, for the moment of feeling most deeply loved was often also the moment when respondents were in the presence of someone who had the gift of profound listening. A listening that’s the kind David Augsburger describes when he writes, “Being heard is so close to being loved that, for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”

Quite an equation, isn’t it? Being heard = being loved in some way. Hopefully, all of us have the graced opportunity to have in our lives a friend, a mentor, a teacher, a spiritual guide who has the particular gift of accompanying us in this way no matter what is unfolding in our lives. Henri Nouwen described so well the qualities of this person of presence and deep listening in Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life:

“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

That level of caring and attentiveness can also be found in spiritual direction, sometimes called spiritual guidance or spiritual companionship. For the director, it’s a call to a listening so deep that it mirrors and reflects the unfailing presence of the Holy One who is the third person—along with the director and directee–in that meeting. This way of spiritual coming together is about the “stuff” of one’s life and how the Holy One is moving in all that “stuff.” As spiritual guides open their hearts to the sacred story of another and act as spiritual companions, they’re in a privileged place. Here they get to witness the unfolding story of how God is present and acting in another’s life and how the other is noticing the presence of the Holy One there.

In accompanying others as friends, mentors, teachers, spiritual guides, all of us must also come face to face with our own powerlessness and must own our inability to save others from their pain, to take away their losses, to mend their fractured relationships, much as we desire to do so. As listeners, we’re not called to enact what is beyond our human abilities. We practice the limits of living in that space of “not knowing, not curing, not healing.” We grow in trust in the power of the Holy One whose faithful presence we hope to mirror for others. We offer what is ours to give: spaciousness of heart and a safe place where others can lay down burdens, share what delights and draws them, and speak out loud their unique story, all with the assurance it will be received with reverence.

The following prayer by Jay McDaniel resonates with our hopes for becoming deep listeners. It’s one of the Prayers for a Thousand Years, a collection of hopes and  aspirations written as we moved from the end of the twentieth century into the twenty- first century, into these next thousand years:

earth weknowyourdream.org

In this century and in any century,
our deepest hope, our most tender prayer,
is that we learn to listen.
May we listen to one another in openness and mercy.
May we listen to plants and animals in wonder and respect.
May we listen to our own hearts in love and forgiveness.
May we listen to God in quietness and awe.
And in this listening,
which is boundless in its beauty,
may we find the wisdom to cooperate with a healing spirit,
a divine spirit,
who beckons us into peace and community and creativity.
We do not ask for a perfect world, but we do ask for a better world.
We ask for deep listening.

Takeaway

Sit in a place of stillness.
Call to mind the last time you were fully and lovingly heard.
What did this experience feel like? Look like? Sound like?
When have you offered this same gift to another?
Ask the Holy One to listen with love in you, and give thanks.

Images:
Fotolia.com
Fluentu.com
Earthweknowyourdream.org

NOTE:

Please remember in your prayer all who are part of a week of guided retreat for the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM) taking place February 4-9, in Dubuque, Iowa. Thank you!

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Breaking into Beauty

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM for January 21, 2018

 

The possibility of breakage is part of everyday living. In our bodies, we can break bones and split open skin. With our words, we can both affirm and wound. Promises and relationships can be nurtured or shattered. Carelessness, inattention, accident, indifference–all can break both objects and hearts.

A perfection-seeking consumer culture finds little or no value in things that are imperfect, flawed, in need of repair. This culture tells us that what is damaged, split, or smashed must be hidden, kept out of sight, or discarded and tossed into the trash.

We know from experience that returning broken heirlooms or artifacts to anything resembling wholeness can be an especially difficult task. Antiques Roadshow admonishes us that telltale cracks or chips or well-intentioned touch-ups can greatly diminish the worth of treasured objects, causing them to lose whatever value they might once have held.Breaking shattered pot copy

We name things that are spilled or spoiled, burnt or torn, as “ruined,” with little hope of restoration. To mend or alter is much more challenging than to create from scratch. To rescue the soup into which a shaker of salt has tumbled requires skills bordering on the miraculous.

Yet there can also be a form of beauty in what is broken or worn or in need of repair and restoration. What if, instead of lamenting the flaws in our possessions and ourselves, we approached them as teachers pointing the way towards a new practice of wholemaking? Our spiritual traditions emphasize the call to treat people and animals and also inanimate objects with respect, care, and reverence, no matter what their condition. Our efforts to recycle, to see the potential in what is old or used, remind us that we are reincarnating something that would otherwise be forever lost or forgotten. In memorable lyrics, composer Leonard Cohen makes the case for the lessons of breakage and the imperfections in our lives by renaming them as graced: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

The Japanese art form, kintsugi, finds profound beauty in what is broken. Kintsugi is believed to date back to the 15th century when the favorite bowl of a shogun was shattered. Efforts to repair the bowl with metal staples, the custom of the time, diminished the bowl’s appearance, so the disappointed shogun enlisted a craftsman and charged him with this task: find a method of restoration that not only repairs the bowl but actually enhances its original beauty.

That method, kintsugi, uses lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum to fill in the cracks. The precious metals don’t hide the damage that’s been done but instead actually highlight and draw attention to what is cracked, transforming what was viewed as a flaw into a prominent part of the new art form.

There’s a contemplative dimension to the practice of kintsugi. It invites the artist to spend time with brokenness, not to fear it but to mine its depths, to become intimate with it. Kintsugi demands that the artist listen to and learn from the past history or spiritual background of the item being restored. It requires a worldview that is able to discover in the broken, the old, and the seemingly useless a surprising witness to a new and profound type of beauty.

Today and every day, may we embrace the artistic and spiritual practice of kintsugi. May we see beyond surface appearances. May we open ourselves to a way of looking at the universe that finds potential for the beautiful in what is damaged and flawed in ourselves and in others. May the Holy One who holds us in tenderness show us our own beauty even when, perhaps especially when, we look at the fragments of our lives and cannot imagine any dimension of the beautiful in them. May this same Holy One continually fill in the cracks and lead us and our world into a place of wholeness.

breakingpinterest.co

Takeaway

Sit in a place of stillness.
Place before you a photo of an item that is visibly broken, or hold in your hands an object that is cracked, chipped, worn. Gaze at this.
What moves within you as you spend time in the presence of brokenness or imperfections?
Where in yourself or another have you recognized the potential for a new dimension of the beautiful?
Ask the Holy One to reveal to you your own singular beauty, and give thanks.

Images:
katieminami.blog
pinterest.co.uk
Chris Koellhoffer

NOTE:
Please hold in your prayer all those who will be part of these upcoming events I’ll be leading in the near future:

January 26-28:   Directed Prayer weekend at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, Wernersville, PA

February 4-9:    Guided Retreat for the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM) in Dubuque, Iowa.

Many thanks for your remembrance of all of us!

 

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Nurturing a Winter Soul

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM for January 7, 2018

What is the gift of winter? After more than a few days of fierce wind, snow measured in feet rather than inches, sputtering car batteries, and layers of ice so thick it laughs at the puny scrapers with which we threaten it, we might be tempted to utter an incredible “Gift? You call this a gift?” Understandably, our recent winter experiences here in the North might easily tempt us to name this season as more of an inconvenience, a disrupter of plans, a foe of travel, an enforcer of hibernation, and nothing more.wintersingleflake

True, our sister, winter, brings all of these experiences to many of us. The deep freeze, the unrelenting cold, the snowy blanketing of landscapes, the slowing down or absolute halting of plans. As we experience all of these harsh realities, might we also acknowledge that winter comes bearing gifts? Sabbath time, hush and stillness, fierce beauty, rest, gestation and deepening. Winter reminds us that, no matter what appearances seem to imply, the universe is always invested in healing and growth and renewal, gifts of this season.

Winter is not a season of standstill. She often moves below the surface and the seen, ushering in a time of contemplative, expectant waiting, of dreams and inner visions. She calls us into a slowing of our steps, into mindful movement, into a hush of silence, into a rhythm of seeming to do nothing but go deeper. She offers us the grace to mine her presence, to reflect on the bareness of trees, the stillness of landscapes, the darkness of star-filled nights. She invites us into sacred rest. Most of all, she challenges us to foster and nurture a winter soul.

In “Winter Spirituality,” a guest post for the Monk in the World series, Nancy L. Agneberg reflects on her own preference for the gifts of this season and on having just such a soul.

“I value the harvest of fall, the energy of spring, the secure lingering of summer,” she notes, “but even more I covet the lairs of winter, the hidden passages, the unlit corridors, the streamlined views, the bareness of the horizon. The action coldly stopped, frozen without conscious time. I’ve done what I can all those other days and months and now it is time to leave what is undone and to unwind the sweater til once more it is yarn. It is sheep. It is essence.”

wintersheepcopySo especially during this season, may we cultivate patience to listen to the unresolved questions frozen in our hearts. May we believe in our resiliency when we are wintered. May we trust the love and mystery deep within ourselves and others. May winter reveal to us the hidden, the invisible, the heart of what really matters. May we foster a winter soul.

Takeaway

Take a few minutes to sit in the stillness of this season.
If you are in a wintered area, gaze out the window or walk outside if it’s safe, temperature-wise. What do you see?
What are the challenges, places where you feel frozen, stuck, or hardened in your life? Where in your life might you be dreaming of a softening or awaiting a thaw?
Invite the Holy One to winter in you.

Images:
hdwpro.com
livescience.com
animalsaustralia.com
pixabay.com

Wintercopy

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