Saints were men and women who understood the challenge of living the gospel in the context of their own place and time. They are remembered because they lived it with imagination and devotion. They used what they had been given to live their lives into the freedom of the kingdom.
-Br. Robert L’Esperance, SSJE
It may come in the guise of cute children dressed up in all manner of costumes, but our pre-Christian and Christian ancestors in the faith would recognize Hallowe’en as that night when you stared at, and stared down, death. But just as we know the answer to Good Friday is not despair but Easter, so the answer to Hallowe’en is not fear but All Saints’ and All Souls’. Each remind us that we can stare death in the face and be triumphant.
-Br. James Koester, SSJE
During my novitiate here, there were times, more than once, when I faced the question, “Am I really called to this life?” “Can I continue to follow the call?” At the beginning it sometimes took several days of mulling over the question, later it became a matter of a few hours, and ultimately, whenever that question entered my mind, even in the years after I was professed, I was able within a matter of minutes, or even seconds, to answer myself, “I am able.”
-Br. David Allen, SSJE
We face each day as a recurring set of invitations: what God is inviting us to be or bear or birth in that day, in that moment. And if the invitation is to die, to give over our life in some conscious and sacrificial way, then we are prepared. It becomes obvious to us in the moment: so this is the way, so this is God’s invitation for me to offer up my life! There’s a real freedom in that.
-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE
Any place where we withdraw to meet God in prayer is a place of “secret encounter and reward.” Here we come to know God, and to know ourselves. Here we come to recognize our disordered attachments, to do battle with our most persistent temptations, and to grow in the virtues of obedience, humility and love.
-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE
Biblical texts with contradictions or harsh dissonance can be frustrating, embarrassing, confusing. But the absence of clarity and certainty in the texts can also be God’s way of drawing us away from easy pieties and premature certainties—away from these untruths and to God’s self, the Living Word.
-Br. Mark Brown, SSJE
Living too much in the past, filling our days with nostalgic memories, remembering past experiences or relationships which are no more, can actually be very damaging to our emotional and spiritual lives. The Scriptures are shot through with this theme and come with a warning: Once you have begun a journey, don’t look back.
-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE
Like James, we can affirm and encourage God’s new work in others and ourselves, discerning amid crisis what is just and divine. Those who know and remember us can be healing and hopeful. We can encourage and delight in each other’s change and development. That’s the blessing and challenge of life together, being known and being called to further life.
-Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE
Quieting ourselves in prayer, seeking God’s guidance and wisdom, we descend into that deep place within ourselves, that part of us that makes choices, to discover what it is that we truly yearn after. It may not be at all what we assume it is. We may be surprised at the hidden forces of desire that rule our hearts.
-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE