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.

Witness

We cannot proclaim the good news unless we ourselves have received it. We cannot expect others to be transformed by it unless we ourselves have been transformed. We cannot offer love unless we have first received love. “We love,” the author of First John reminds us, “because he first loved us.”

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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Burden

If we should wonder why Jesus said that his yoke was easy and his burden was light, I think we can look at his teachings on mercy, hope, and love. It is mutual love, God’s love for us, through Jesus, and our love for Jesus in response to his for us.

-Br. David Allen, SSJE

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Body of Christ

If we actually believe what we say, baptism incorporates us not simply into the church but more importantly into the body of Christ, and Christ now sits in glory at the right hand of the Father. When we share with Christ in this high priestly ministry of intercession, we do so from a place of glory, from a place of honour, from our place, seated at the right hand of God.

-Br. James Koester, SSJE

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Birth

Be open for what is new, for what God is wanting to birth in your life. You may need to detach from something of your past. Something new wants to happen, and that new requires space. You may even be able to identify with the Blessed Virgin Mary who, on hearing of this new thing God had for her to bear and give birth to was first afraid, and then she was perplexed, and then she was ready…. God made her ready for this new thing.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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Joy – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

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Each year, the Monastery Chapel closes in August while the Brothers gather for community retreat. During this month, we hope you will enjoy a selection of sermons from our archive, on the gifts we can receive from God even in troubling times

Br. Geoffrey Tristram originally preached this sermon on October 15, 2017. To leave a comment, click here to return to the original sermon > 

Br. Geoffrey TristramPhilippians 4:4-9

Jane was a member of my congregation when I was a parish priest in England.  She was a remarkable woman with great faith, but who had suffered so much over the past years as her husband struggled with cancer.  She was brave, courageous, resilient, but it was clear the light had gone out of her life.  But I remember, on one New Year’s Day, she came up to me in church and said, “Geoffrey, I’ve made a New Year’s Resolution – or rather a new year’s prayer.”  I remember thinking, O good – maybe she’s going to travel or get a new job.  “No, she said, not that.  I’m going to ask God for JOY again in my life.  I want the gift of JOY.”

I’d never heard anyone say that to me before – but I can honestly say that God did answer her prayer, and as the year went on, I saw her come alive again.  God gave her the gift of joy.  It was beautiful to see. Read More

Encounter

What do you most long for – what is your deepest desire? When you come to receive holy communion, offer that prayer, that intention to God. For it is in the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ that we can know the most profound moment of encounter with God.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE

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Faith

Apocalyptic writing arises out the experience of tragedy and oppression, as people of faith look to God for the revelation of God’s will and for relief from their suffering. It is the voice of faith in the most difficult of times, casting all its care upon God to act on behalf of those who are powerless.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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Hope – Br. David Vryhof

Each year, the Monastery Chapel closes in August while the Brothers gather for community retreat. During this month, we hope you will enjoy a selection of sermons from our archive, on the gifts we can receive from God even in troubling times

Br. David Vryhof originally preached this sermon on December 5, 2017. To leave a comment, click here to return to the original sermon > 

Br. David VryhofIsaiah 11:1-10

In the minds of many, we in America are living in an era of increased hopelessness.  Many of us are experiencing a level of despair beyond anything we have ever felt before.  The reasons for this sense of despair are many:

The gap between the wealthy and powerful and the needy and poor seems to widen year by year, in our country and in the world at large.  Many of our citizens lack job security, health care, and a live-able wage.  They face an uncertain future, while others have the power to indulge themselves in luxury and waste.

Racial, cultural and gender inequality still plague our society, despite long and hard-fought battles for civil rights, equality and justice.

Climate change threatens the earth and puts countless people at risk, and yet ours is the only country in the world to exempt itself from the planet-preserving recommendations of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Our political system seems to be dominated more and more by people of extraordinary wealth and privilege.  Our leaders are hampered by rigid partisanship and cannot seem to agree on the common good. Those in power seem consumed with maintaining their power at all costs.  As columnist Jeff Kirkpatrick notes, “Power supersedes morality, ethics, national security, logic, reason and sanity” in America right now.[i] Read More

Sabbath

We need to gather our resources. We need to catch our breath and rest a little. We need a chance to think about what we need to learn about spiritual life, to learn about prayer.

-Br. David Allen, SSJE

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Sabbath-keeping is crucial to our life as Christians. In September, our offering “Brother, Give Us a Word” will begin taking a Sabbath on Sundays. We hope that this weekly pause in our messages will offer a gentle reminder to pause in your own life.

Read more about the importance and practice of keeping the Sabbath >

Treasure

How we choose to live our lives is no happenstance thing. It’s not about the ways the planets line up, or about the hand we’re dealt, or the luck of the draw. How we choose to live our life is rooted in the good treasure that has been entrusted to us, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us and how we know that treasure to be true.

-Br. James Koester, SSJE

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