Community can offer a container that’s safe enough and supportive enough for the conversion process to take place. You have a group of people saying, “You can be who you are, we’ll support that, even if it’s painful, even if it’s uncomfortable.” That allowance helps us confront our own wounds. It helps other people – and ourselves – heal.

– Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE


Way of Love: Daily Practice

Call a friend just to catch up.


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There’s a portion of our Rule of Life that’s been very helpful to me in living in community. It talks about silence as a gift that allows us to recognize and revere the mystery of every person. Each person is a mystery to us, and there are aspects of that person’s life that we will never know, no matter how well we know them. Only God alone can know this person as they truly are. This is a way to open our hearts to greater compassion.

– Br. David Vryhof, SSJE


Way of Love: Daily Practice

Invite silence into all your interactions today.


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We don’t do church alone because God isn’t alone. God is community and invites us into community. God chose a family to bless and save the whole world through Abraham. No one person could do it alone. The Christian story, and all of the stories of scripture,  are about a people. Our story is one of families and of communities. 

– Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE


Way of Love: Daily Practice

Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches.” Who is your community?


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The very nature of the Triune God is community. The Father, Son and Spirit are One in reciprocal self-giving and love. Because human beings are made in the image of a relational God, humans are not meant to be separate and isolated from one another. Rather, we are called to live together in shared community. 

– The Rev. Becky Zartman


Way of Love: Daily Practice

Read the Prayer attributed to St. Francis (BCP 833). Sit silently. Invite God to speak through this reading.


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We’re not only a gathered people, we’re also a sent people.  Jesus says, “I send you into the world.  Just as the Father sent me into the world, I’m sending you.” We need to be sent out from the church building itself – and from the church community itself – to have a wider rippling effect in the world. 

– Br. David Vryhof, SSJE


Way of Love: Daily Practice

Worship in community today – virtually, or with those with whom you live. Watch “Signs of Life: Community


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The way to be effective in the world is to start with what’s primary, which is God dwelling within us. Find that place within: the Christ within, the I-in-Christ, that place where God dwells, our true self – that place that is without fear, because nothing in the world can harm it. Out of that place of fearlessness, we’re then free to act out God’s will in the world in whatever ways we’re needed. 

– Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE


Way of Love: Daily Practice

What is something you can give yourself permission to step away from today and rest?


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My dear Friends,
 
My Brothers and I have been deeply touched by the messages of concern and hope that so many of you have expressed since we made the difficult decision to close not only the Guesthouse, but also the Monastery Chapel for public worship, during this time of tremendous anxiety.
 
Never before has a line from our Rule of Life seemed so appropriate. In the chapter on Worship we read that we Brothers offer our worship … on behalf of the entire world. At a time when so many Christians are cut off from physically gathering to worship and celebrate the Eucharist, our life of corporate worship continues. Even though others may not be able to be physically present, your presence is none the less felt. This is especially true at the daily Eucharist and Compline, when we have the opportunity to mention before God so many of you by name. We offer our worship on behalf of the entire world.
 
Last week we made a recording of Compline which is now online at www.SSJE.org. We invite you to join us, wherever you are, and uphold the entire world in your prayers.
 
Please know of our prayers for you during this anxious time.
 
Faithfully in the One who calms our fears,
 
James Koester SSJE
Superior

We are to hold things here with a kind of detachment: this is not the end for us. Having a beautiful home is not the purpose that we strive toward, because our permanent home is not here. This is a temporary home for us. We are on a journey to our real resting place.

– Br. David Vryhof, SSJE


Way of Love: Daily Practice

Pray for those – near and far – whose lives are upended by the current crisis


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My most profound experience of being offered refuge and safety by another human being took place in silence. I just can’t put into words how precious a gift it was. And all she did was stay with me. 

– Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE


Way of Love: Daily Practice

Be a safe place for others today. Lend a listening ear.


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The people of God are always on the move, right from the very beginning. I think that nomadic sense is part of our Abrahamic roots. When we try to settle too much in our lives, we can forget that we’re actually on a journey. We’re called to be a pilgrim people.

– Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE


Way of Love: Daily Practice

Journal about a time when you wandered from God.


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