Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

The Rule of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

We Brothers welcome you to a share one of our daily practices: listening to and reflecting on a chapter of our Rule of Life.

In addition the Brothers have a series of other resources that we hope might be helpful to you in exploring living with a Rule.

Living Intentionally: Creating a Rule of Life

We invite you to download our Living Intentionally Workbook for Creating a Personal Rule of Life. Walk with Br. David Vryhof step-by-step through the process of writing your own Rule.

A Framework for Freedom:

We invite you to discover the freedom that comes from living by a rule of life, by journeying through “A Framework for Freedom,” a 7-week self-guided video course to help you say “Yes” to your life.  Watch the series now.  Subscribe to a daily email.

In Lent 2012, we preached a series on the challenges and rewards of living by a rule of life. Drawing on chapters from SSJE’s Rule. Read and listen to the sermons.

A Living Tradition:

Each day of Lent 2011, we posted a short “living commentary” on our Rule, with a Brother or two offering his unique perspective on the document which shapes and forms our prayer and practice more than any other apart from Scripture and The Book of Common PrayerTo read that conversation, click here.

 

The Rule of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

We Brothers welcome you to a share one of our daily practices: listening to and reflecting on a chapter of our Rule of Life.

  • To listen to the SSJE Rule of Life, read aloud by a brother, click on the chapters to the left.
  • To read a Guide to Personal Reflection, click here
  • To Subscribe to the SSJE Rule of Life, click the subscribe buttons on the left.
  • We welcome comments on each chapter.
  • To purchase a copy of the book The Rule of Life, click here

Introduction

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The audio book, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is read by Br. Curtis Almquist and accompanied by carols sung by the Brothers.

The Twelve Days of Christmas follow from December 25 until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, the traditional date when the Magi arrived to present gifts to infant Jesus. For many, the meaning of these days is lost. By Christmas night we are saturated with the holiday hype, overfed by music and food, and may already be disappointed that the presents received are not enough. This audio book is not a bah humbug about Christmas customs and presents.

This is simply an invitation to go deeper than the tinsel and wrappings, beyond the presents given and received, to the source of all the good gifts in life. Readers are invited to unwrap gifts that will last, praying the twelve days of Christmas.

Reach

In Christ, in the life of Christ, we reach forward into greater life, beyond ourselves, beyond our own life into the greater life of Christ. From lesser into greater…Love, in all its manifestations is the ultimate reaching beyond ourselves.

-Br. Mark Brown, SSJE

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Compassion

The gospels are full of stories where Jesus ignores the boundaries imposed by acceptable religious and social practice, and openly disregards man-made laws and regulations in order to show compassion. He consistently lets sinners and outcasts know that they are wanted and loved by God, even if they are despised by everyone else.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

Read More and Comment >

Lenten Prayer Journals

Our Lenten series, “Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John,” begins on Sunday, February 11.  A beautiful journal has been produced to accompany the six-week program of daily videos from the brothers. The journal can be purchased individually or in packs of ten on Amazon, or you can pick one up at the Monastery. You can also download printable versions from the website (including a large-print edition). We hope you will join us for this transformative offering.

Humility

For us Christians, the grace of humility is grounded in the incarnation, that is, in Jesus Christ’s being born among us and like us.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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Human

Jesus had the full spectrum of emotion and experience. He was sad and had compassion for those who suffered. He wept with a broken heart including upon the death of his friend Lazarus. He got mad at injustice and hypocrisy (“you brood of vipers!”) and got frustrated at his disciples who were continually arguing and not getting his point. Jesus changed his way of thinking as with the surprising confrontation with a Syrophoenician woman. Jesus learned and developed. Jesus was human!

-Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE

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Catch the Life Announcement

We are launching a new campaign, “Catch the Life,” in order to spread the word of the monastic life to young men who might be interested in exploring this vocation with us. We love this life and hope that our joy in it is contagious. In the last several years, our hope has been rewarded with new Postulants and the Professions of Brothers Luke, Jim, Nicholas and Keith. As a community, we feel galvanized and called by God to build up the next generation of Brothers to continue the work entrusted to us. We believe that the religious life is more vital than ever to the life of the Church and the mission of God, as monasteries offer people a passionate experience of the life of faith, in order for them to go out in mission and service in the name of Christ.

We have created a new website, www.catchthelife.org, to support this adventure. On the site we share why we love this life and describe some of the richness we have found in our vocation, as well as the stories of men who have offered their life to God in our community in the past. We hope the site will pique the curiosity of men who wonder what it looks like to “live upon a Truth.”

Embody

Human flesh and the work of human hands is now the means by which light and life come into the world, how grace and truth come into this world. Now we embody the love and compassion of God. Now we embody the grace and truth of Christ.

-Br. Mark Brown, SSJE

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Messiah

Jesus’ healing of the deaf man recalls the words of the prophet Isaiah who predicted that, when the Messiah comes, “the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy”. Jesus’ actions bring to remembrance those words, and they inspire Peter to confess that Jesus is indeed the long-awaited “Messiah.”

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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Revelation

For those of us who bear the name Christian, we recognize that we have seen the face of God in the face of Jesus. This is not to say that no one else has seen God or known God, heard from God or called on God in another way or time or place or name. We may experience some new revelation from the God of Abraham from the “other,” from the “stranger.”

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

Read More and Comment >

The Gift of Detours – Br. Jim Woodrum

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Br. Jim WoodrumExodus 13:17-22; Matthew 2:1-12

For a few of us brothers, one of the highlights of our pilgrimage to the UK this past summer was a trek to The Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford.  It was not necessarily for the food and beer that we wanted to visit this pub, although the Slow-cooked Steak, Amber Ale & Mushroom Pie is quite delicious.   Rather, the reason for this sacred journey was that this was a regular meeting place for a literary group known as “The Inklings,” of which C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein were members.  Sitting in a cramped corner of this pub with Luke, Keith, Nicholas, and Lucas, I couldn’t help but to wonder if perhaps we were sitting at a table where Lewis and Tolkein might have sat, discussing literature, philosophy, religion, and theology.  One of my favorite poems from Tolkein’s epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings kept playing over and over in my head.  It begins:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.[i] 

Indeed, this became my own personal mantra for the pilgrimage:  “Not all those who wander are lost!”  Tonight’s sermon is the second part of our Epiphany preaching series on vocation entitled Gifts for the Journey.  This evening we will explore:  The Gift of Detours. Read More