Love Life: Participation Conversation

This week’s videos will take up the theme of Participation As you get ready for the week, we invite you to listen in on a conversation about Participation between the Novice Guardian, Br. David Vryhof, and Brs. Luke Ditewig and John Braught. We hope their questions will start your thinking about your own, and give you a glimpse into the Brothers’ daily life as monks who look to the Gospel of John to guide their own lives of love. We hope this coming week will help you to #LoveLife.


Are there areas in your life where you are being called to new life?
Write your Answer – click here


  1. Diane Sherwood on March 31, 2014 at 12:25

    I am currently in the process of transformation professionally. And I pray that I am following God’s call. As I run politically for a judge’s seat in my community, I pray that I am not doing this for personal aggrandizement but am following God’s will and will be placed as His servant. I will be entering a new life if I am elected.

  2. Dorothy Wilson on March 24, 2014 at 19:14

    Pain and suffering, we live with everyday. But I have never thought we can chose our suffering. My suffering is that I always want to work long hours, and I am coming to realize that I don”t need to. It only stresses me out. I am finding that I need to take time out for pray and meditation and this Love Life series is helping me get back on track with a personal life with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thank you.

  3. LindaR on March 24, 2014 at 17:39

    Practically every area of my life is in a state of transition right now. For years I was my mom’s care-giver 24/7. I only left the house for a few hours per month to take her to medical appointments and to stock up on groceries once every 3 weeks. Since her passing, I’ve felt sort of adrift, technically free, but unsure how to start building a life. I’m still grieving, but definitely feeling called to start exploring. I need to try to find ways to be useful to God and others, and to look for work. There’s a lot of fear mixed with the hope. The world feels very large and strange after so long of not really feeling part of it. Just surviving isn’t enough. This Love Life series is really helping me see that! I’m praying and listening for God’s guidance.

  4. Jennie M Anderson on March 24, 2014 at 12:02

    In all areas of my life I am being called out and into new life. I am in between calls, I am in the first 90 days of recovery, I am in Lent and I am sensitive to the fact that in a little over 6 months, I am going to be turning 50. I feel the “comfort and safety” of being in the darkness and the pain and fear that comes from being called back out into the light.
    Thank you for this message of hope.

  5. Tammy on March 24, 2014 at 08:13

    To hear that Lazarus needed help to come out of the tomb was sobering reminder for someone who thinks she is absolutely self sufficient. I despise being dependent upon others in part because when I have allowed it they have failed me further wounding what was already broken….and yet God’s intention for us is community whether we like it or not….we also have benefited from others help whether we acknowledge it or not. I am thinking that the invitation is to be open to help when I need it most and trust that it will come in the form its best administered…and to be open to those places where I can assist in change but not necessarily be responsible for it ….its that old adage of show up, pay attention, tell the truth, let go of the outcome…I actually find that the pain comes most often from my unwillingness to let go of my will in favor of the divine will…..My prayer is to be aware of these moments of giving help without doing it for someone else and receiving help without thinking Ive given all my power away by taking it….

  6. John Okerman on March 24, 2014 at 00:04

    I find this video provides excellent guidance and direction as we experience changes in our life. I am retired and enjoying my status as a retired, unemployed person. I find myself struggling with some of the changes and at times attempting to experience the times when I was employed by doing temporary and part time jobs. I’m also finding challenges as my wife and I experience changing roles with me being home full time. Having the guidance and help of Jesus is a way of thinking about these changes in a positive manner.

  7. Lise on March 23, 2014 at 21:56

    i don’t think of change as painful just hard to do. I don’t resist change to avoid pain, but because it requires effort. The familiar is always easier. Sometimes pain is what pushes me into change.

  8. Athena on March 23, 2014 at 19:22

    My area of new life is that of a woman in the last decades of my life, having left middle age behind. I am finding it necessary to grieve the ending of this wonderful period, during which our two daughters arrived through adoption, grew up with us, and then moved out, because so far it has been the most wonderful part of my life. It is painful to let it go, and adds to how much I miss seeing our daughters and grieve when our visits end. I am hoping for this new life to become rich.

  9. Kathleen Sheehy on March 23, 2014 at 17:52

    I think of the “do not resuscitate” or “no heroics” orders that many people, including myself, state as their wishes as they approach death. I’m in a situation right now in which I have yet to discern if something needs to die in order to be transformed in some way, or if it still should be “fed and watered” as is. I don’t want to resist new life in this or any area if that’s what God is calling me to. I know I can rely on His love to guide me.

  10. Jane Anne Gleason on March 23, 2014 at 17:49

    I agree that I am always being called to new life. I truth I am some times pushed into new life screaming and crying, but always to my benfent. When I had my big stroke at the age of the age of 58 it was certainly anything I had expected or planned (it was due to a venus malformation in my brain) I could have given up. But, the support, encouragement, and love of my family allowed me to put my life completly in God’s hand. Today I have a different but in many ways better life. God is good. always.

  11. gwedhen nicholas on March 23, 2014 at 14:00

    I am being called to abide in Gods’ Love. To know He loves me. To come out of the darkness of negative self love (as opposed to positive self love) and into the light of Gods’ Love. I am being called to trust that God is there for me, always. That, as the brothers said, He is standing in the water ready to catch me. I wouldn’t have the courage to jump otherwise. Once I realized this, I came to the thought that I need to not just abide, but respond with love as well. To do things in my life for the love of God and His glory, not for my own. Loving His creation enough to set it down on paper with paint for example. I think that while doing this, I am responding to His Love. I am loving back.

  12. The Rev Jeffrey Reed on March 23, 2014 at 09:52

    Over the past few years, I have been caring for my ailing Mother. She died on December 31st last year. Her care had been a defining part of my life and even though I would not wish her back into her failing body, I am having a hard time moving into the next stage of my life. The pain of her loss however is softened by the promise of new life for both she and I. Thank you for reminding me that we must surrender to what is, but we need not suffer. Jesus already suffered for us and we can reach out and claim the healing that his passion, death and resurrection brings to us.With often faltering steps we walk into the light constantly being reborn to new life in Jesus Christ.

    • Christina on March 23, 2014 at 10:24

      All will be well. All will be well.
      It just takes time – a lot of time. Ask God for the gift of patience (as well as love.) Christina

  13. Phoebe Knopf on March 23, 2014 at 09:47

    God’s calls me to practice a steadier assent to the blessed assurance that God’s Yes to my existence and to my prayerful hope for individual and collective justice, is deeper and stronger than all the violence of the world down through the ages. For me, this practice depends on the mercy of God, who forgives me and guides me back
    to my path many times a day.

  14. David Goodwin on March 23, 2014 at 09:28

    I appreciate the thought that “dying to self” is not an end to itself, but to rise to new life. The grave clothes give way to new freedom in Christ! Too often I’ve looked at some area of my life that needed to change with the idea of how much I’m having to give up. Rubbish! Rather, how much my Savior wants to give me! To walk in newness of life! This is no sacrifice at all.

    • Sr. Donna Morgan on March 25, 2014 at 01:22

      I think that staying in the “tomb” is safe in some ways and that the invitation and dependence on Christ is always a new point of view or looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty. Dying to preconceived notions or learning that Christ’s invitation to come out is a learning experience that can be startling and freeing at the same time. I have trusted people instead of Christ many times in the past and some of the observations about people (friends) are startling before the feelings or observations become the “freedom” to trust in the Lord. Every day the Lord gives me better vision of most things

  15. Gloria Veltman on March 23, 2014 at 08:35

    I have been struggling with this for several years & the answer hasn’t become clear so the struggle continues.

  16. Christopher Epting on March 23, 2014 at 07:50

    As I live into being “semi retired” and look forward to a time of full retirement, I am being called to embrace this new (and final?) stage of life with openness and even excitement about the opportunities these years will bring. As my friend Jack Spong says, “To live fully, to love wastefully, and to be all that I can be.”

    • Eleanor on March 24, 2014 at 13:58

      I love that! Love wastefully! I picture a gushing forth.
      Thank you!

  17. Jim on March 23, 2014 at 07:12

    I think God is always calling me to a new life in community. Letting go of anger or resentment, trying to “forget” the wrongs done to me and by me, and living in the spirit of God’s love are all challenges that can lead to a new life of freedom and joy.

  18. Michael Kolenick on March 23, 2014 at 05:55

    Yes, I agree with the brothers that pain is a part of life, and we can stew in it and suffer, or allow God to point us to new opportunities and new life through Him. This is a lesson that I have had to learn the hard way. Learning to trust that God will open a new door for you when one closes was a hard lesson for me.

    • Eleanor on March 24, 2014 at 14:01

      I think we all have to learn the hard way–that is, personally. How do you let go when some event or perceived hurt obsesses you? Perhaps like learning to walk or learning to speak: experience…and more experience.

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