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.

 

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

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.

The candle that we received at our baptism is the abiding sign for us of what a life of faith is meant to be. Sometimes it burns more brightly than others, but we never see very far ahead. I believe God wants it to be like that. However frustrating it may be, God wants us to take these important steps in life, in faith and trust. It can be frightening to step out and put our hand in the hand of God.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE

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Next time your heart sinks, your stomach flips, you strain at the oars, battling the wind and waves of life, don’t be afraid to cry out, as did the disciples, ‘Teacher, do you not care that [I am] perishing?’ And then open your ears. You might just hear, above the noise of your fear, Jesus speaking words of peace: ‘Peace! Be still!’ And you will know that your life is being saved.

-Br. James Koester, SSJE

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We don’t have much to offer. We don’t have heaven or earth or Jerusalem or our own heads. They’re not ours. What we do have is the attention and intention of our hearts. That’s our gift. When we bring our hearts, whole and undivided, to Jesus in prayer, and offer them to God, we participate in Christ’s self-offering, abiding in him as Christ abides in us.

-Br. Lucas Hall, SSJE

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We make our vows in public. Whether they be baptismal vows, or ordination vows, or the profession vows of a monk, or vows of a governmental leader being sworn into office, or marriage vows, we make our vows in public because we are going to need one another’s help for us to be faithful to our vows. We cannot do this alone.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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Jesus calls us “the salt of the earth.” But salt has no effect if it never leaves the salt shaker. It must be sprinkled over the food in order to influence its taste. Likewise we must be in the world – making a difference, striving for justice, caring for those who are too easily left behind – if we hope to be the “salt of the earth”.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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The crucial work of social peace must join an on-the-ground commitment to interior peace, the kind that changes lives from the inside out. Countless civil disobedience movements have demonstrated the power of non-violent action, steeped in spiritual intention and grounded in a peace that no oppressor can give or take away.

-Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

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Psalm 139:1—5, 12—17

From the time I first encountered it in earnest, this season of the church year has always spoken to me of identity. In particular, the play between the way we see our identities and the way God sees our identities.

On January 6, the Church kept the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, celebrating the manifestation of God to the world in Jesus. As she did, she called to mind (at least in the western rites) the story of the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. A story about an identity: the fullness of God’s identity, present in the frailty of a defenseless, dependent child.

As she kept the Feast of the Baptism of Christ on the Sunday that followed, she recalled yet another story about identity: the human identity into which God desired to be baptized in the flesh of Jesus beneath the waters of the Jordan River. The humanity into which Righteousness itself was pleased to be plunged and drowned. The humanity with which, by that act, God became unmistakably and eternally bound.

These two feasts are recognized in the lectionary as solemnities. They can sometimes pass us by in the daze that follows the whirlwind of Chistmastide, but they frontload the season of Epiphany with these themes of identity. I find it a grace that the lectionary does this in this way. And this year in particular. For as the Church celebrated the display of God’s presence in the world before the Gentile Magi on January 6, her eyes beheld a different kind of epiphany as violence swept through the Capitol. It was an epiphany of the very brokenness and division into which God deigned to be submerged. Read More

Hebrews 4:12-16

“The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.”

Sharp like a scalpel, scripture cuts through our pride, confusion, and the made-up stories we tell ourselves to reveal the truth. Scripture convicts us, reveals what we lack, what we’re grasping and need to let go. Scripture points to our deep need and to God’s great love.

Jesus, the very Word of God, sees us as we are. Jesus looks with love. Jesus’ words may be surprising, confusing, or confounding; they “reveal the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Revealing, for we find ourselves “naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.” Read More

Mark 2:23-3:6

The past two evenings, our Evening Prayer lections from the second chapter of Mark have shown Jesus and the Temple authorities in conflict as to ritual observance of the Law.  To the Pharisees and Scribes, it was a person’s moral duty to observe the Law with exact precision. To err, would render one ritually unclean, unable to enter the Temple, and make them a societal outcast. Over and over, Jesus challenged them as to their legalism, demonstrating to them what the Law looked like when seasoned with mercy.

Tonight’s reading from Mark turns up the heat in a way we have not yet seen. We might think this reading is about healing on the sabbath, but that is secondary to what has Jesus and the Pharisees staring at each other in silence. For the first time in these encounters we observe an emotional Jesus, seething with frustration. The gospel writer says, “Jesus looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart.”

I would say that this story is about identity. The founder of our community, Richard Meux Benson once said: “In the presence of Jesus mankind beholds not merely the power of God but the possibility of man; not only what God is in Himself but what God meant man to be.”[i]  The Pharisees spent their lives learning the law and enforcing it to the best of their abilities in order to keep Israel a holy nation.  And Jesus certainly did not disagree with their zeal.  In Matthew’s gospel we hear Jesus say: ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.[ii] Read More