Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lent: What's Thriving in Your Life?

The garden metaphors grow thickly on the vine in today's video.  Being fairly new to gardening, myself, I was answering the gardening questions first as the Brother was speaking.  And about half way through, I remembered that this was to grow a rule of life, no matter how useful the questions were about the garden.

 There is a great deal that can be read, researched, meditated upon, etc. regarding how one develops a personal Rule of Life for themselves.  SSJE offers a workbook for your contemplation, meditation and prayer, which is free to download.  You can also see the 49 rules which govern the lives of the brothers living under the SSJE monastery, by purchasing their book that discusses each of the rules and how they came into being.  There's a video series on the freedom that one can experience in living under rules that they have created themselves, nurturing and planting, planning and harvesting throughout their lives.  Links to all of these can be found here.

So, taking a page from the workbook for this Lenten season, let's take a look at what we want to be surrounded by in our daily lives.  Some examples:

Be Open. Open yourself up to this process. Invite God fully into each idea and question you may have.

Be Creative. Think outside the box. You may have a unique image of what you want your garden to include.

Be Gentle. Be gentle with yourself. There are no right or wrong answers. This is not a competition.

Be Realistic. Simple and honest answers are far more useful than sweeping, idealistic ones.

Be Patient. This is part of a lifelong process. Give yourself time to develop your ideas along the way.

Be Flexible. Be willing to change and modify your ideas as your life moves through different seasons.

The link above gives a few more examples of what you might want to include for yourself.  Don't forget one of the most important activities Jesus did during His 40 days in the desert - pray.  And in this instance, we're going to use prayer with imagination (can also be found on the SSJE site):  In prayer, imagine yourself in a conversation with Jesus in which you describe to him what it is you value most and how you want to live faithfully in the world. Ask what he values most and how he wants you to live.

As you can see, you've got homework.  Yesterday was fairly simple, an introduction.  Today, you need to think, reflect, pray, and make some decisions.  Feel free to comment on your journey.

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