Jesus knew the needs of those around him because he listened intently. He also knew that people experience the healing presence of God when they are able to listen to their own needs and are invited to name them, so he asked questions like “What do you want me to do for you?” and “What are you looking for?” Listening is a crucial first step in responding to human need.

-Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

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Ascension Day is a wonderful celebration of hope. A day to lift up our hearts, to rejoice – the Lord is King. And maybe an occasion to pledge that in the days ahead we will endeavor to be purveyors of hope – that we will so live our lives and so pray our lives, that others will know the hope to which we have been called. That however difficult or daunting our journey may be, we will continually lift up our eyes, and look to the glory.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE

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It is hard to hear about the din and noise of the world. But when we hear the voice of love calling us, challenging us, prodding us to greater and more unselfish love, then we can be certain that it is the voice of the Good Shepherd who calls. Our job as followers of Jesus is to learn to hear his voice.

-Br. James Koester, SSJE

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Jesus calls us “friend.” One of the wonderful things about speaking to a trusted friend is the freedom not to be guarded, to let whatever you need to say just tumble off your lips. A trusted friend will understand you; a trusted friend will not necessarily take everything you say literally, but rather, they will take it truly. They know you. We can take Jesus at his word, that he listens to you as a beloved friend. When you pray, don’t worry that you get it right; get it real. Jesus will get it right.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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Take a walk outdoors to personally visit and encounter neighboring nature. Notice the sounds, smells, colors. Stop when a particular place attracts you and pay closer attention to it. First notice what happens to your sense of self and your sense of God when viewing creation as an object. Then notice what happens when viewing creation personally, as an equal, possessing its own life and energy.

-Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE

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You are loved unconditionally, now and forever. Abide in that love, draw strength from it every day, rest in it every night. Whatever you’re going through right now, of this you can be sure: you are deeply loved by God, and always will be. God will never forsake you.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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It may be necessary for you to do a spring cleaning of the heart. It could be that you’ve been carrying around so much for so long that God’s light and love cannot penetrate into the depths of your being. If this is so, bring these things to God in prayer and ask God to take them.

-Br. Jim Woodrum, SSJE

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