We believe passionately that God has given us a mission: to draw others to know and experience in their lives the love of God in Christ. Sharing this “Good News” is at the center of our call and our life. In our chapels and retreat houses, and our online teachings, we hope to offer a still point in the midst of the chaos of contemporary life. We hope that as you explore these pages, you’ll find “Good News” that will help you live authentically, responsive to God’s call of love.

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost – Br. Jim Woodrum

Jan 6, 2023

“Epiphanies seem to be random events that surprise us sporadically with significant realizations that shed new light on both familiar and confusing situations. But epiphanies are not random at all. They build over time until the last little bit of information is gathered, and the picture comes fully into focus, giving us the ‘eureka effect’ which seems random. Epiphany means ‘manifestation.’”

On the Feast of the Epiphany, Br. Jim Woodrum ponders the tale of the Magi’s journey and finds in it lessons for our own spiritual pilgrimage.

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Home for Christmas – Br. David Vryhof

Jan 3, 2023

“But what does “home” mean, really?  Is it a place we can return to, or is it more of a longing?  For many of us, the word “home” summons up a whole range of things that are past and that cannot be retrieved. For us, “home” isn’t a specific place anymore; it’s more like a whole set of longings… or a treasure chest of memories that combine to make us feel safe and loved.”

Br. David Vryhof marvels that while “home” seems at the heart of Christmas, it is actually – at its heart – about homelessness.

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Namedropping Jesus – Br. Curtis Almquist

Jan 1, 2023

“Our own name is what uniquely distinguishes us from others. However our name also connects us to others because knowing our name marks a relationship. People who know us will call on us by our name. With someone knowing our name, they can identify us, include us, and have a certain claim on their relationship with us. Everything important is given a name. And in the name and in the naming, there is the power of both identity and relationship. ”

On the feast of the Holy Name, Br. Curtis Almquist invites us to call on Jesus by name.

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On Being Forged, Shaped, and Fostered – Br. James Koester

Dec 24, 2022

“Tonight we are finding ourselves by telling a story. That story is deeply personal, and amazingly universal for it has forged, shaped, and fostered us as individuals, even if we think it hasn’t. It does not matter if you are a professed Christian, or a casual attender this evening, your life has been shaped by this story, even if you claim not to believe it. The Christmas story is a story of discovery because through it, we find ourselves, and we find ourselves in it.”

Br. James Koester marvels at the power of the Christmas story, which invites us to give away our heart.

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Responding to Christ Within – Br. Michael Hardgrove

Dec 22, 2022

“We await the coming of Jesus Christ, and we believe that when He returns He will create a new heaven and a new earth. We don’t know if we will live to see it, but like our ancestors, we maintain hope, and we spread the Good News, the hope of the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. By doing so, we allow Him to work through us to bring about His kingdom on earth – just as He did through Mary.”

Br. Michael Hardgrove invites us to make Mary’s “Yes” our own during the season of Advent.

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Choosing and Being Chosen – Br. Curtis Almquist

Dec 20, 2022

“We have at least two things in common with the Blessed Virgin Mary. For one, we, like Mary, have God’s attention and God’s love. We, like Mary, have something utterly unique about the life God has given us. Secondly, we share with Mary the capacity and need to make endless choices in life, some of them seeming quite small and custodial; some of them seeming vastly significant.”

Br. Curtis Almquist points us to the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary for help in navigating all the choices we face in life.

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Do Not Be Afraid – Br. James Koester

Dec 18, 2022

“The story of the birth of Jesus that is imprinted on our minds and in our hearts, is the story that Luke tells us. That’s the story of carols and hymns, stained glass windows, great works of art, and countless Christmas cards. That’s the story we think of when we think of Christmas. That’s the story we will hear in a few days’ time. But that’s not the only story.”

That’s not the only version. Br. James Koester points us past the familiar version of the nativity story to the one that Matthew tells, the one which features Joseph.

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God of the multitudes and the particular – Br. Todd Blackham

Dec 17, 2022

“As the Advent of our Savior draws near, remember again whose we are.  From time immemorial, the immense and unfathomable God has worked in special and particular love to draw all people to himself through the beloved Son, Jesus, our brother, our Lord.”

In the lineage of Jesus, as in the stars of the sky, Br. Todd Blackham traces our adoption by the God of the cosmos.

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Not Made to Be Trapped – Br. Lain Wilson

Dec 14, 2022

“How often do we come to Jesus and expect him to conform to or affirm our priorities, prejudices, and opinions? We place all these things in front of us so that they mediate and make conditional our encounter with Jesus. We fail to meet Jesus face to face, to take him on his terms, to receive him as he offers himself to us. This is the trap we build, and that we ourselves spring.”

Br. Lain Wilson invites us to turn away from all that traps us, toward the God who frees us.

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The Ordo Advent 2022 through Advent 2023

Dec 12, 2022

The Ordo of the Daily Office and Holy Eucharist. Advent 2023 through Advent 2023 (Year 1 and Year A) Compiled and edited by Jonathan Maury, SSJE Download free PDF Order print copy

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