FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Each Friday I share some of my favorite finds related to praying or writing. If I think it could help you pray or write better, or just “be” better, I’ll include it below.

This week, we’re exploring posts and podcasts on Lent, writing, and #WOCwithpens. Do you have an article/post to recommend? Please let me know! Join the Contemplative Writers Facebook group, comment on today’s post on my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter (@LisaKDeam) to nominate your favorite articles, blog posts, and books by Thursday at noon each week.

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There is a Burning Bush Inside of Me via Tasha Burgoyne (a powerful post on embracing our weakness with God’s power) #WOCwithpens

Walking in the Jesus Way: A Lenten Journey via Diana Trautwein (Scripture and poetry each day for Lent)

3 Companions for the Wilderness via Lisa Colon DeLay and Lisa Deam (are you in the wilderness this Lent? Listen to Lisa DeLay and I talk about the desert fathers and two medieval mystics who can guide our journey)

Love Matters More Than Logic or Experience (Lectio Divina Diligens for the Third Sunday of Lent) via Carl McColman (Carl takes us through a lectio divina exercise based on a Scripture reading)

What keeps the darkness via Glynn Young (a poem after 2 Corinthians 12)

The Case for Writing in Coffee Shops: Why Malcolm Gladwell Does It, and You Should Too via Open Culture (does a coffee shop offer just the right kind of distraction for writing? Where do you write best?)

FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Each Friday I share some of my favorite finds related to praying or writing. If I think it could help you pray or write better, or just “be” better, I’ll include it below.

Do you have someone else’s article or post to share? Join the Contemplative Writers Facebook group, contact me on my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter (@LisaKDeam) to nominate your favorite articles, blog posts, and books by Thursday at noon each week.

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Twelve Books (Besides Mine) You Should Be Reading via Shawn Smucker (take a look at this great list – and be sure to grab a copy of Shawn’s book, which released this week!)

Daily Lectio Divina: Psalm 97:11-12 via Laura Cavanaugh (a guided lectio divina podcast)

Exploring the Silence and Laughter of Eternity with Carl McColman via Contemplify (listen to Carl being interviewed on mysticism, silence, and . . . laughter!)

A Forgotten Poet Laureate of Nature on How Beauty Dissolves the Boundary Between Ourselves and the World via Brain Pickings (attending to the transcendent fragments of nature is a way to inhabit our own wholeness)

Why I’m Over Building a Platform via Carrie Stephens (a writer weighs in on this hot topic; what’s your opinion?)

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Tweet of the Week:

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Look for Hildegard of Bingen in our Book of the Month feature beginning this Monday!

BOOK OF THE MONTH: BEFRIENDING SILENCE

Week 1: The Gift of Sacred Stories

Befriending Silence

In Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality, Carl McColman shares what we can learn from an ancient monastic tradition. McColman himself is a Lay Cistercian affiliated with the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia.

Befriending Silence explores eleven gifts from the Cistercian tradition. The chapter “Sacred Stories” diagnoses a problem: “Our society as a whole has forgotten who we are, and the consequences are devastating,” McColman writes. “[W]e have forgotten that we all are created in the image of God.” He goes on to explain how Scripture and other spiritual writings can help us live in God’s story and remind us who we truly are. Reading sacred story is a sacred tradition.

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God wants to remind us of the image we were created in—our true story—by helping us see with the eyes of love, feel with the heart of mercy, and think with the mind of compassion.

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The gift of Christian, Benedictine, and Cistercian wisdom and memory is that these timeless stories and teachings from the past provide the foundation on which we can build our own spiritual identity, our own sense of what it means to respond to God’s grace, in our time.

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For people of faith, reading can be a doorway not to greater control but greater surrender, a way to open our minds and hearts to the transfiguring and life-giving Word of God.

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Following the chapter, McColman explains the practice of lectio divina, or sacred reading, giving advice and guidance to those beginning on this path:

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Although lectio divina originated in monasteries and remains a core spiritual practice for monks and nuns, it is something anyone may learn, practice, and enjoy. By making lectio divina a regular part of your life, you participate in a practice that has nurtured Cistercians and other monastics for centuries.

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[L]ectio divina is like spending time with someone special. The purpose is to linger, savoring the time spent together.

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Remember, the purpose of lectio divina is not to gather more information but to seek God’s living word for your life.

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Read more.

For reflection:

McColman - week 1 (alt)