Joy

The way of Jesus means taking each moment as an opportunity to surrender to God’s Love. As we practice allowing ourselves to rest in Christ’s embrace, we begin to realize that the joy Jesus talks about isn’t just an emotion we feel, it’s who we’re meant to be. We are the joy Jesus wants to share in the world.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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Identity

Our spiritual battle is a choice: between submission to God’s will or relying on our own willfulness. God’s way requires a radical denial of worldly attachments, including the worldly identity we create and sustain.

– Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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A provocation for your day:

We are so much more than our status, our social markers, or our stuff. Think about how you talk about yourself or describe yourself to others. What do you name; what do you leave out? Imagine how God would describe you.

Enemy

For Jesus, defeating your enemy had nothing to do with swords or armor. No, the only true way to defeat an enemy, even if the enemy is just an idea or way of thinking, is to accept the enemy, in love and compassion, until we stop seeing an enemy at all.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli,  SSJE

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A prayer for your day:

Lord Jesus, you teach us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. Your infinite love alone makes this possible. Soften my heart and open my eyes, that I may love even my enemies as you do.

Ego

Perhaps a helpful intention this Lent: surrender enough ego to see the world a little more the way God sees it. Instead of quickly summarizing another person, take a moment to drop your judgments and hold them in God’s Love. Drop the stories and focus on the real human beings in front of you. Let’s look a little deeper and see who others are in Christ.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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A prayer for your day:

God help me to see others as you see them. Destroy the idols I create, so that I can really see the people I encounter today, as they are.

Roots

Like a tree with roots in nourishing water, we have no reason to fear as long as we send our roots down to drink from God’s Love. We have no reason to fear when the heat comes, when the drought comes. Nourished by the river of Christ’s Light, we can let ourselves rest in the Oneness of God’s being.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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Companion

Christ is already standing at the door of our heart knocking — he’s been with us on this journey before we even started, seeking us, out of His love for us, and he’ll be with us the whole way, especially when it gets rough.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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Birth

All is truly well, because God’s Christmas gift of eternal life, of peace and joy beyond understanding, is already ours; we need only notice. The gift of Christ being born in our hearts, like a beautiful flower brought into being within the stillness of desert, is waiting only for us to trust in God, emptying our hearts of all that is not Christ.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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Surrender

The way of Jesus was never meant to be easy, but that’s our calling: to courageously surrender to God in each moment. And so for the sake of Christ we become the transformation we seek, sharing peace and joy in our communities, and inspiring the world to a new story, the story of God’s beautiful Kingdom.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God could mean something within us, like a new awareness of God’s loving embrace. Or it could be something among us, like sharing Christ’s love in the world. In truth, it’s very hard to say what it’s like. If you find a metaphor or a story that works for you, that bears the fruit of God’s love in your heart, I’d give that preference.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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Truth

If we can’t find evidence of God’s Truth in the doctrine and practice of our neighbors, then we need to practice opening our hearts a little wider, praying that by the glow of Christ’s Light we can recognize God’s most essential Truth wherever it may be found.

-Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

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