It is a good idea, on any journey, to pause on the way and take stock. If you were hiking a mountain, you might reach a plateau and pause for a while, looking back to see all the places you have hiked through. What’s the journey been like so far, and what have you learned? How will you go forward; what route will you take? Call on the Spirit of Jesus. St. Augustine said, ‘We come to God not by navigation, but by love.’
-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE
When we label others, we stop seeing them as they are. We see them only as we are determined to see them, as we have decided that they must be. It’s important, then, to ask ourselves the same question Jesus asked Simon: “Do you see this woman?” Who is it that I have difficulty seeing? Is there a person – or group of people – whom I refuse to see? Can I set aside my labels and take a fresh look?
-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE
We want God to love us, but not them; to be on our side, but not theirs; to come to our aid, but forget about those others. But that’s not the way God works, and it’s certainly not the way Jesus works. Just look at who Jesus spent his time with: sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes. He went out of his way into the highways and byways to compel all to enter the kingdom, for he was sent to call not the righteous but sinners.
-Br. James Koester, SSJE
It is very easy to give from on top of a white horse. It is more uncomfortable to dismount, to stand in the mud at eye-level with need, hunger, flagrant inequality, and let it pierce our hearts in a humble conversation between two children of God: without an agenda, without a presupposition that we know what the person before us really needs, but with an open heart and a listening ear.
-Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE
I love the season of fall – when all things seem to be dying. We who follow Jesus know that the bare trees, are just waiting silently and expectantly for the mystery of spring and the glorious bursting forth of new life. And so with us. Jesus calls us every day to live into that mystery; to let die all that does not give us life. Let it go.
-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE
If I were to simply go on believing in a god who fulfills my every wish, who protects my ego from the pain of loss and failure, I would very quickly come to the logical conclusion that there is no god. But if I let my images fracture, the actual God—the living God whose love upholds every moment—begins to break through. A God whose purpose, love, and faithfulness do not depend on human visions of success or failure.
-Br. Sean Glenn, SSJE
Patience really needs to be an active word in our soul’s vocabulary. When someone is not acquiescing, when something is not being resolved, when the door isn’t being opened, then is the invitation for patience: this melding of love and suffering, about which Jesus is well apprised. The invitation is to wait.
-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE
Even though tried by misunderstanding, hardship, persecution, and martyrdom, our ancestors in faith sought to live in continual thanksgiving to God. Their firm conviction did not seek to deny the troubles of the present. Yet, by the continual offering of thanks, they passed through trials blessing the ‘goodness and loving-kindness’ of God, who created and preserves us with the gift of life.
-Br. Jonathan Maury, SSJE
In order for music to be made, you must have elements of both sound and silence. This a perfect metaphor for our relationship with God. God lures us into God’s holy silence by what is resonating most in our lives. It is there that God is waiting to meet us.
-Br. Jim Woodrum, SSJE