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A Crack in the Everyday THE CLOISTERED HEART - November 30, 2016 ... after-Christmas sales, there is still a window of opportunity. A time when someone rushing through a store might catch the strains of an old familiar carol, one she's heard every Christmas since childhood. Yet this time, the words sound different. She remembers a Babe in a manger, and her heart is strangely warmed. This is a season when we can smoothly and naturally acknowledge (like at no other time) the One Who was born for us. After all, few friends would toss out cards that have nativity ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/11/a-crack-in-everyday.html

Advent Is IMPERATIVE! HOMILIES AND OCCASIONAL THOUGHTS - November 27, 2016 ... than "don't." Let's go looking, then, for imperatives in today's Scripture readings. There are plenty of them, and they give us a great push for the start of Advent. The first reading begins with a familiar image, the mountain of the Lord. Mountains have an important place in the Old Testament. Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai and Elijah meets God on Mount Horeb, for example. In the New Testament, Jesus goes up on the mountain to pray and, at the end of his earthly mission, ...http://gregorynsmith.blogspot.com/2016/11/advent-is-imperative.html

Regathering Fruits of Lectio THE CLOISTERED HEART - November 16, 2016 It is hard to put Lectio Divina into words. God speaks to us in Scripture, we speak to Him in prayer, and these back and forth encounters weave into and through our everyday lives. "I must admit," wrote one of you, "that when I first heard about Lectio Divina, I was intimidated thinking that it was a practice that only a few could master along with the great saints. But as I am learning more and more everyday, it can be very simple and maybe even something that I have ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/11/regathering-fruits-of-lectio.html

Revisiting Morning Prayer THE CLOISTERED HEART - November 2, 2016 Morning prayer does not have to be hard. I must remind myself of this, because sometimes I feel I'm climbing over a hurdle as I begin the day. But waking-up prayer doesn't have to consist of anything more complicated than remembering God as soon as I become conscious; and, quite simply, of greeting Him. I used to fret about this. I wondered if I was doing it "right." I wanted to be reverent, but "warm and loving and real." What I have come to realize is ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/11/revisiting-morning-prayer.html

The Dazzling Simplicity of Lectio THE CLOISTERED HEART - October 26, 2016 ... myself (yesterday) but no Bible at hand, I began praying with lines I'd memorized from John's Gospel. When I came to John 1:5, where it speaks of the Light shining on in darkness, a darkness that has not overcome it, I felt a touch of peace. No matter what darkness may seem to be around - in the world, the media, my nation or my life - the Light of Christ is shining in the very midst of it. I was struck by the words "in darkness. " Darkness may indeed be lurking, but His Light is there. It was ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/10/the-dazzling-simplicity-of-lectio.html

Nourishing the Marketplace THE CLOISTERED HEART - October 12, 2016 "If we don't spend time with God in prayer, then we go empty-handed into the marketplace." Hearing these words from a friend, I was reminded of times when I've dashed out without taking time to be with God. Times when I've decided I was "too busy" to spend even a few minutes with Scripture, too busy to let God feed me with His Word. Too often I have rushed, malnourished and empty, into the marketplace - bringing nothing to share with others but my own flawed, weak human ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/10/nourishing-marketplace.html

Worth Revisiting - I Wish HARVESTING THE FRUITS OF CONTEMPLATION - October 5, 2016 ... Verb during the rest of each week. They have much to offer. I decided to share this post: Monday Musings - I Wish (Originally posted August 1, 2016) (Image source: Wikimedia Commons ) The answers to the problems facing our nation and world will not be solved by any of our political parties or politicians. These issues are spiritual in nature and beyond the ability of mere mortal men and women to rectify. Unfortunately, far too many of our religious leaders have failed to ...http://harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/2016/10/worth-revisiting-i-wish_5.html

Revisiting Prayer Tracks THE CLOISTERED HEART - September 14, 2016 Because I don't live in a monastery, I hear no bells calling me to drop everything and take time for prayer in the middle of the day. I live out here where families need feeding, babies need diapering, and bosses want reports in by twelve o'clock sharp. Those in monasteries can usually pray at the same times. But 'out here,' everyone is going in a hundred different directions at once. So what about me? If I want a foundation of prayer to be the basis of ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/09/revisiting-prayer-tracks.html

Worth Revisiting - My Winged Messengers HARVESTING THE FRUITS OF CONTEMPLATION - September 13, 2016 ... with what they share. My Winged Messengers (Originally posted August 29, 2016) (Image source: Pixabay) Whenever I have been blessed to spend time in the chapel at the retreat house at the Abbey of Genesee an assortment of birds always flies above and around the exterior of the chapel as I first begin to pray – carefree, chirping, doing what God created them to do, and trusting Him to provide for their needs. After a time, they leave me as silence returns. The presence of my feathered ...http://harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/2016/09/worth-revisiting-my-winged-messengers.html

Revisiting Aspirations THE CLOISTERED HEART - September 7, 2016 ... terse but frequent prayer." (Wilfrid Tunink OSB, Vision of Peace, pp. 277-278) "The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always… This prayer is possible 'at all times' because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Jesus Christ." (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2668) "All aspirations are better when they are brief…. As we ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/09/revisiting-aspirations.html

Revisiting My Tiny One THE CLOISTERED HEART - August 31, 2016 ... close, something happened. I felt a desire to hold a tiny, tiny newborn. Being well beyond the age of giving birth myself, I attributed this longing to the fact that my youngest grandchild is now two. And yes, I think that's part of it. But it hit me: this "call to hold" may well be a nudge from God. I think it is a spiritual call, not a physical one.. and certainly it's in line with the call each of us has (to some degree or other) to pray for and help those in need. So today I am saying yes, ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/08/revisiting-my-tiny-one.html

Revisiting Keyholes THE CLOISTERED HEART - August 24, 2016 ... was not in words... it was simply a gentle sense of awareness that to bless Him as long as I live means that ... wow!!! ... I can bless Him forever! Jesus has come and opened to me the doors of eternal life, so I can praise Him forever! I told God this was the best thing I could imagine about eternal life. I went on, awhile later, into prayer of intercession for several people who came to mind, asking that they be given grace to seek God and to bless Him forever. The practice ...http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2016/08/revisiting-keyholes.html

Worth Revisiting - It's Not About Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle HARVESTING THE FRUITS OF CONTEMPLATION - August 16, 2016 ... with what they share. It's Not About Putting The Genie Back In The Bottle (Originally posted July 18, 2016) There was a time when everyone entering a Catholic Church knew enough to genuflect, to remain silent and to spend time in intimate interior conversation with their Loving Lord locked behind the tabernacle doors. God deserves nothing less today. (Photo©Michael Seagriff) Back in that day, everyone knew they were there in the Presence of God to adore and worship Him, not to visit with ...http://harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/2016/08/worth-revisiting-its-not-about-putting.html