Listening to my life

Ann Moyer Living in Community, Monastic Life, Retreats, Women's Lenten Lunches Leave a Comment

Another wonderful experience today in our third Women’s Lenten Lunch. Thank you to Carol Kretschman who served as reader during lunch, to Chef Barbara Wright who served us a simple and delicious noon meal, to Claudia Greco who offered us the opportunity to listen to our life through the shared experience of lectio divina, and to all the women present who took time to listen and share from the heart.

Claudia framed our conversations in the opening lines of the Rule of Benedict: “Listen carefully, my child, to these words. Listen with the ear of your heart.” She shared a bit of her journey to becoming an oblate of Holy Wisdom Monastery and how powerfully this Benedictine focus on listening with the ear of the heart spoke to her.

Lectio divina is an ancient and contemporary practice that invites us into deep and sacred listening. Claudia drew from various sources pointing us in this direction, including these thoughts from Frederick Buechner:

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

And this, from Christine Valters Painter:

Lectio Divina is the practice of being present to each moment in a heart centered way. When we pray lectio we see sacred text as the Holy’s living word being spoken in our hearts in the moment. The practice allows us to encounter God in an active and intimate way.

Claudia invited us to experience lectio, beginning with a time of centering. With quieted and opened hearts we received these words by Rainer Maria Rilke, from his Book of Hours: Love Poems to God:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

Through three slow and meditative readings of this poem, we were invited to share words and phrases that spoke to us and then to share overall reflections on this reading.

More information about the practice of lectio divina is available on our website.

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