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Saturday, December 8, 2018

December 8, 2018

adventcal2018week2smBrother Lawrence of the Resurrection said that we would be surprised to know what our souls are saying to God. I would expand this to say that we would be surprised to know what our souls are saying to one another…We belong together in God at a far deeper level than our normal consciousness comprehends.
—-Denis Edwards

Today’s scripture

We are at the end of our first week of this year’s Online Advent Calendar, and I am grateful for the interesting and enlightening responses to the images and the questions from this week. A few people asked for background information about the various images, but I have deliberately not included that, as is my usual practice in retreats and workshops I do using this process. The reason for that is that engaging with an image on its own terms, without regard for who created it or where or when, is a different and often more immediate experience than when the background information becomes part of the process. It’s not possible to eliminate that completely, of course, since it is often apparent by the style or materials where or when an image might have been made, but I invite you to let go of that and try to gaze on these paintings without giving that too much attention. If you really want to dig into the backgrounds later, try Googling images of Christ, as that is how I found most of these. If you click on a particular result, you will likely get the information you seek.

In the responses to this week’s images, the words wisdom, servant, and suffering were most often used by the responders. A few people noted that one face or another showed patience, and one responder also noted a certain impatience, in the sense of Christ’s desire to have us catch on to his message and to trust that God loves us.

There were only a few hints among the comments and submissions from this week about how engaging with these images might effect change or evoke compassion in us as individuals and/or communities. One person had some good questions about the process:

Does it lead us down into the depths of what we have already been taught where the mystics are?

Does it lead outward into unknown zones?

Does it lead each of us differently?

How then do we find community?

What IS the Church?

How do we each navigate all this with peace and security since there are so few reliable ‘guides’?

As a result, I am adding in a new question for the coming week. I hope you will continue to send in the fruits of your contemplation so that we may reliably guide one another during this Advent season.

–Baya Clare CSJ

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Connie Gleason permalink
    December 8, 2018 6:33 am

    Hi Baya,
    I must admit I liked it better other years when you wrote reflections instead of the art.
    But I understand how this use of images reaches other people.
    Thank you, Connie

  2. Judith Oberhauser permalink
    December 8, 2018 8:24 am

    Thanks, Baya. I do appreciate this type of cyber retreat and love your insights, especially today as we ponder what we are saying to one another in God, in that sacred unconscious place. I think my cat is way ahead of me in this awareness. Next week I am very very busy but I hope to tune in. Thanks

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Linda Crosby permalink
    December 8, 2018 11:22 am

    Hi Baya: I found myself disappointed today that there wasn’t an image! I look forward to the differences. I am probably back in kindergarten…..just looking at each image, trying to see what is there, and then deciding whether it is Jesus to me or not. Hopefully, I’ll move on to some more profound insights, but if not, I will settle into exactly where I am at this time! Thank you for this reflection. Peace……Linda C.

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