God’s prophets splash us in the face like cold water. We may sputter in disbelief, we may fail to understand, but we are definitely left more awake, called to attention in a new way, made to see with a deeper gaze, from a wider angle. We are baptized once, and life is forever changed. But we are also baptized again and again by living confrontations with angels.

-Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

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There is not a single Christian who has not been equipped by God for the particular tasks which God has given him or her. There are no exceptions. All of us are ministers of God and ministers of the Church. All of us have been equipped in some way to participate in this important mission.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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Thanksgiving orders our hearts and minds rightly. We learn to thank God not because God needs our thanks, but because by thanking God we learn to use God’s gifts rightly and justly—both the material and the immaterial. Our joyful gratitude to the Giver keeps us from misusing the good things given us, according to God’s mercy and grace.

-Br. Sean Glenn, SSJE

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Tithing is an Old Testament principle, giving ten percent of what we have and hold to God. If you were to ask me if “tithing” is an important principle for today, I would say “no.” I think the invitation is not for 10 percent but for 100 percent. We are trustees of 100 percent of the life entrusted to us by God. The question then becomes how we should spend our lives, being the gifts that they are.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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St. John of the Cross says, What are you really after? Do you want spirituality? Mystical experience? Nice warm feelings in your prayer? Or do you want God? If you want God you must let go of all substitute satisfactions. To go into the darkness with faith, trust, and loving desire for God, however distant he may seem, can be one of life’s greatest journeys.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE

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As followers of the One who came not to be served but to serve, we must do likewise. For unless the king can say of us: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,” then we are not in the service of Christ the King, but in the service of this world whose king is me, me, me.

-Br. James Koester, SSJE

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Liberation Theology insists we cannot be satisfied with mere acts of charity like helping out at a soup kitchen or delivering bags of groceries to needy families at Thanksgiving (though these kindly acts are not to be discouraged). We are called to go beyond charity to address the economic and political structures and policies that make for poverty in our world. It is our duty to challenge the choices of those who are wealthy and powerful (starting with ourselves!) that result in so many living lives of quiet desperation.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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Giving grace changes us. Experiencing one more stranger as friend expands our vision of humanity and of God. How has grace expanded you? To whom might you reach beyond, to further invite?

-Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE

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The founder of our community, Richard Meux Benson, says Christ prays to the merciful Father through our prayers. Christ’s voice does not appeal to God separately from ours. The Father hears the voice of his beloved Son in our prayers and accepts them as Christ’s own. We are given authority in our prayer, and God gives ear to us as Christ, as Christ’s own voice.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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