Christmas

 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Dear Friends,

This mini-episode is a tiny gift to you from Contemplative at Home, just a brief ten-minute prayer for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It was made quickly and spontaneously so please accept it in the spirit that it is given: with joy and gratitude (if not meticulous editing skills)!

May the joy of the angels,

the eagerness of the shepherds,

the perseverance of the wise men,

the obedience of Joseph and Mary,

and the peace of the Christ child

be yours this Christmas

Amen.

Thank you for praying here in 2016, may your journey continue to deepen and broaden you in 2017. I look forward to praying with you then.

Every blessing.

Image: By Gerard van Honthorst – Google Art Project, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45542035

Blessing: churchofengland.org

Lissy Clarke

December 19, 2016

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John 1:14 NRSV

Reading and praying through The Ignatian Adventure by Kevin O’Brien recently, I was struck by the concept that “God saves us in the detail of our lives.”

In today’s reflection, the final of our four on Christmas in Ordinary Time, we have time to ‘take stock,’ to consider the detail of our own lives, and with that in mind to pray with John 1.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

I hope that pairing the self-reflection with John 1 will help the Good News to land concretely and specifically in your story again.

And as we draw nearer to Christmas now, may Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill you with joy and peace. 

Every blessing my friends! Thank you so much for sharing this space with us.

Photo by Jaimie Trueblood/newline.wireimage.com

Shepherds

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
Luke 2:8

Why did God send the angels to these apparently unimportant shepherds?

This story is so familiar (you can probably nearly recite it yourself), and it raises so many questions for me. I hope that you will have space to meditate on your own questions as you pray with it again in this season.

Every blessing dear ones!

Image: The Angel and the Shepherds, James Tissot

Magnificat

“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.” Luke 1:48

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In this episode we continue our reflection on the profound blessing of saying yes to God, saying yes to the ways in which we are being called out of pride and fear and into redemption and creativity and wholeness and freedom and life.

Mary reminds us that this incredible journey only ever begins in humility.

Every blessing, friends!

Art: James Tissot , The Magnificat

For another lovely piece of contemporary art to assist your reflection visit this page.

Annunciation

The angel Gabriel… came to her and said “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  

Luke 1:26, 28, 29

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In today’s episode with pray with Mary, and the angel Gabriel’s incredible announcement to her. We observe her response and her willing participation in this story despite her fear and her lack of understanding.

Every blessing as you pray with this, my friends!

Artwork: The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner

Christmas in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends,

During the next few weeks, Contemplative at Home will be bringing you four special episodes on the theme Christmas in Ordinary Time.

As you know, Christmas is very specifically not ordinary time, it is an extraordinary season of festivity and abundance and celebration!

So why the theme Christmas in Ordinary Time?

As I’ve continued my prayer journey this year, I’ve been struck again by the ways in which God chose to work redemption through ordinary circumstances, relying on the willing involvement of real people just like you and me. I’ve also been pondering the repeated call to humility: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” said James, “He has regarded the lowliness of his servant” says Mary.

In the first episode (published today) we consider Mary, her call, and her willing response.

Later we will pray with the Magnificat, the Shepherds and finally, we will think about the ways in which God offers redemption in the ordinary details of our own lives, praying with John 1.

The more closely we look at our hearts, the more obvious it becomes how far we have to go on the spiritual journey, and I know that I personally have a very, very long way to travel! I very humbly offer these thoughts and this space so that we may continue on together.

If you can find pause to pray here between now and Christmas, I heartily congratulate you!, and pray that you will be nourished by the Holy Spirit. If you’d rather save these for another time (as likely your schedule will demand), the meditation will be relevant at any time of year, and, I trust, the Holy Spirit equally available to give you insight.

I wish you every blessing this advent my friends and I look forward to praying with you.

Warmly

Lissy

 

Image: Bus Shelter Nativity by Andrew Gadd

Consider the Lilies

Hello friends,

We continue our series “With Jesus in Ordinary Time” thinking about one or two of the ways in which Jesus used the ordinary world around him to speak truth into the hearts of his followers.

Consider these wildflowers, he said. They don’t reap or sow or spin, but their beauty is remarkable.

You don’t need to worry. The Lord is graciously and lovingly taking care of you and your needs.

I was fortunate enough to have a weekend retreat in Wales earlier in the month, so I recorded this while I was there, considering the wild foxglove (!) on an early morning hillside.

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May you know increased peace and trust as you sit with this text.

Every blessing, friends!!

A Quiet Place

 

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Jesus invites his friends: “Come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest.”

In this episode you are invited to observe Jesus as he goes to a deserted place and prays to his Father, and to have your own conversation with God as well.

Every Blessing!

Wilderness

Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, …was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 

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In the wilderness, Jesus is tempted to turn stones into bread, to take the glory and authority of all the nations on the earth, to test whether the angels will keep him from falling.

The temptations are for security, power and control.

Please do pray with us if you feel led! I’d love to hear how you find it. Thanks Friends.

Every blessing.

SHOW NOTES

Jesus, a Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ (not an affiliate link)

To play the show please visit the Contemplative at Home website by following this link, or find us on iTunes!

The Hidden Life

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Hello Friends,

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Have you ever thought about the thirty years that Jesus lived in a most ordinary way?

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In this episode we pray with the Hidden Life: the years Jesus lived in obscurity, humbly given over to the hard work of a small community eking out a living from the land.

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Every blessing.

SHOW NOTES

James Martin, SJ’s book Jesus: A Pilgrimage quoted from the chapter entitled ‘Nazareth’
(*also: follow James Martin on social media, he is in the holy land this week!)

All photos were taken at Nazareth Village in April 2016 www.nazarethvillage.com

Ann Voskamp’s post in Holy Week http://www.aholyexperience.com/2016/03/when-the-worlds-hurting-bleeding-in-holy-week-how-to-pass-around-healing-hope/

Richard Rohr interviewed by Rob Bell
http://robbell.podbean.com/e/episode-86-richard-rohr-and-the-alternative-orthodoxy/

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.