Participation 1: Incarnation

Question:

List three attributes of God that matter most to you.
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Transcript of Video:

I keep coming back to the idea that we’re part of the ongoing embodiment or incarnation of Christ in the world, we’re the body of Christ. I have a kind of trinity of divine qualities or divine attributes that I think of here and one is love, God is love. And in the prologue it says, “That through Jesus Christ grace and truth come into the world.” So my little trinity of divine attributes, love, grace and truth, those are what I tend to fasten on. If I’m thinking how can I, how might I, how might we, incarnate or embody or make real, make concrete in this world the divine attributes, I think well what would be loving in this particular situation. What would be graceful or gracious or gratuitous or grateful in this moment or what word of truth might be spoken or what truth might be sought after. Both the seeking after and the speaking of truth participate in that word being made flesh even now as we speak. And I think things are most incarnational of the divine nature when they embody all three of those qualities of love and grace and truth.

– Br. Mark Brown

Love Life: Participation Conversation

This week’s videos will take up the theme of Participation As you get ready for the week, we invite you to listen in on a conversation about Participation between the Novice Guardian, Br. David Vryhof, and Brs. Luke Ditewig and John Braught. We hope their questions will start your thinking about your own, and give you a glimpse into the Brothers’ daily life as monks who look to the Gospel of John to guide their own lives of love. We hope this coming week will help you to #LoveLife.

Question:

Are there areas in your life where you are being called to new life?
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Love Life: Invitation Compilation

We are pleased to share in this Lenten journey with you. Today’s offering is a compilation of the five Invitation videos. We hope this compilation will help you to catch up on any videos you might have missed, as well as providing an easy way to share the week’s videos in a group. Let us know how this week went for you!
Watch the Videos. Write your Answers. #LoveLife

Questions:

Invitation1: What acts of friendship have you initiated or received this week?
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Invitation 2: What makes it difficult for you to love?
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Invitation 3: Can you approach your chores today as a meditation?
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Invitation 4: Be playful today. Write a prayer with a twinkle
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Invitation 5: Sit still until you can hear your heartbeat. What did you experience?
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Invitation 5: Intimacy

Question:

Sit still until you can hear your heartbeat. What did you experience?
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Transcript of Video:

I once used this for a retreat. I asked people to reflect on this and I asked them what they thought various parts of it meant. And afterwards, one of the people came up to me and said when they looked at John’s hand here it just seemed that he was tickling Jesus [laughs], which probably isn’t what the iconographer had in mind. And yet there is something really kind of delightful about that image of John being so close to Jesus, both emotionally and physically, that he can tickle Jesus. I mean, you don’t, or you probably shouldn’t, tickle people that you don’t know [laughing], boundaries, boundaries. But here John is so close to Jesus that he could potentially be tickling him. I don’t think that’s what John is doing here but it’s kind of fun to imagine that.

I think what John is doing here is he’s pointing to this image of love and in itself is an image of love, John reclining on the breast of Jesus and in such a way that perhaps John can hear the heartbeat of Jesus here. And so that’s a – if you were going to pray with this icon, that’s another way that you could pray with this icon just simply to see if you can quiet yourself down so much that you can hear your heartbeat and just become aware of your heartbeat. And in a sense by becoming aware of your heartbeat becoming aware of God’s heartbeat and God’s heart beating in love for you.

– Br. James Koester

Invitation 4: Play

Question:

Be playful today. Write a prayer with a twinkle.
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Transcript of Video:

One of the things that inhibits adults at so many different levels is the misguided sense that we have to be serious all the time and we really need to try to recapture our playfulness. I think that play is so close to pray, you know, they just go hand-in-hand. And so when you approach prayer, approach it seriously but not with seriousness. Know that God wants to play with you. That playfulness is all around. God has a really strong sense of humor.

– Br. Eldridge Pendleton

Invitation 3: Identity

Question:

Can you approach your chores today as a meditation?
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Transcript of Video:

One of the words which we Brothers use very frequently is invitation and we’re always asking ourselves, “So what’s the invitation here?” Believing that life by nature is an invitation and it’s God’s invitation to participate in life, in God’s life.

I think certainly in a Monastery, and it’s probably true in your own life, a huge percentage of the day is tedious. We’re not climbing the spiritual mountains we’re washing the dishes, petting the dog, you know, cutting the grass, washing the clothes, getting from point A to point B. Most of life is that. And so I would say it’s in those contexts which may not be completely apparent. What is this to be about that we should be asking the question what’s the invitation here. What is the invitation in this moment?

It may be you’re passing by people on the street, you’re walking or you’re on a bus or a subway, you’re in commuter traffic, and you’re seeing people sitting beside you or seeing people through car windows. What are you seeing? Can you put a blessing on them? Can you radiate God’s light and life and love onto their being. We’re on this perpetual mission field that God is with us always and we would not want to miss a moment of life. If God is really present to us in the face and form of Jesus, Jesus is going to be really present to us in every passing moment. What is the invitation now?

– Br. Curtis Almquist

Invitation 2: Beloved

Question:

What makes it difficult for you to love?
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Transcript of Video:

It’s so hard for me to love. It really is. You know, I run up against it almost every day here in community. And I find it hard to love because I forget my own belovedness. And if I remember that this was something I could bring into the forefront of my consciousness, my love for other people, which is there, would flow so much more freely. But it really, you know, it does go back to a level of self-rejection. Self-rejection happens to us when we forget that we were loved before we received any human love. We were loved before we came into our human existence, if there is a love primary to and before all other loves, all human loves that we ever experienced, and we have to reclaim that knowledge of our belovedness that is not dependent on human approval or human love.

– Br. Robert L’Esperance

Invitation 1: Friend

Question:

What acts of friendship have you initiated or received this week?
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Transcript of Video:

We could say the gospel of John is about all sorts of things. But primarily the gospel of John is about friendship. And we see in the gospel of John this friendship between the beloved disciple and Jesus, particularly the beloved disciple and Jesus. But also, I would say Mary Magdalene and Jesus and some of the other disciples and apostles and Jesus. And one of the things that John’s gospel can do for the reader, for you, is to discover yourself as the beloved disciple. So the beloved disciple isn’t somebody else it’s me, it’s you. And in that way I think Jesus opens his heart to you and Jesus invites us to share his life and his love and to come to know him. To come to know him not only as or even perhaps primarily as Lord or God but first and foremost as friend.

– Br. James Koester

Love Life: Invitation Conversation

This week’s videos will take up the theme of Invitation. As you get ready for the week, we invite you to listen in on a conversation about Invitation between the Novice Guardian, Br. David Vryhof, and Brs. Luke Ditewig and John Braught. We hope their questions will start your thinking about your own, and give you a glimpse into the Brothers’ daily life as monks who look to the Gospel of John to guide their own lives of love. We hope this coming week will help you to #LoveLife.

Question:
Is God present to you through joy?
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Love Life: Revelation Compilation

We are pleased to share in this Lenten journey with you. Today’s offering is a compilation of the five Revelation videos. We hope this compilation will help you to catch up on any videos you might have missed, as well as providing an easy way to share the week’s videos in a group. Let us know how this week went for you!
Watch the Videos. Write your Answers. #LoveLife

Questions:

Revelation 1: What do you understand about who God is?
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Revelation 2: How could you be playful in showing love to others today?
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Revelation 3: What is your reminder that you are loved?
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Revelation 4: Where was God for you today?
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Revelation 5: What does God especially cherish about you?
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