So, I'm thinking another opportunity for expanding this sleepy monastery would be some sort of common discipline during Lent. Perhaps we could find somebody to take leadership of a day of the week and then give a distinctive offering for spiritual enrichment on that day (a question, reflection, practice, or piece of art for other members to interact with). What do you think?

Who has prayer requests to share for this week?

We have a number of college instructors in this virtual monastery. Let's keep all teachers and students in our prayers as a new semester begins!

Apply to our conference, "Life in the Anthropocene: Theology and the Environment." fordhamgradconference.wordpres

One of my major temptations in prayer is self-centeredness, so I try to seek out practices that take me outside of myself. Leaving my apartment and focusing my mind on Jesus Christ through walking prayer. Praying the liturgy of the hours to discipline my prayer according to the needs of the world.

I usually do this when out-and-about, walking in my neighborhood on my way to the train station, running errands, or just enjoying the area.

My main contemplative practice is the use of the Jesus Prayer while walking. I've found that I have difficulty with centering prayer or meditation when staying in one place, but the use of a focusing mantra while walking helps me center myself in God's presence.

I'm spending Christmas Eve alone for the first time in my life. It's tough, but it's worth it because @Julian is doing fantastic work as a chaplain tonight. Tonight, pray in a special way for all who work over Christmas and their families.

(For those we can see this who are outside of the instance: you're invited to join this practice, too!)

So, at the very least, we are all coming here once a week.

OK, so here's my thought on how we start: following the suggestion of @jimrobinson, we commit to posting once a week (maybe on Wednesday nights?) about our contemplative practices and how they are going.

@jimrobinson This is a wonderful idea. It particularly works well because it will keep the low ember of this community burning with a low-key form of accountability (once a week) while we think about what we want this place to look like and see who shows up.

Thinking about doing a daily reflection on here for Advent. Other monastery members: let me know if you're interested in taking part!

A friend from Div School celebrates "Black Friday" by visiting Walden Pond and reading Thoreau.

American culture has constructed a sort of liturgical season out of the days following Thanksgiving (Black Friday / Small Business Saturday / Cyber Monday / Giving Tuesday). Two thoughts: 1) it is fascinating that Sunday has been spared! Perhaps an unconscious nod to the sacred? 2) The U.S. church could put forth a series of feast days to counter this. If the culture is going to treat this week liturgically, why not counter with some prophetic wisdom? What feast days would you propose?

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A progressive, intentional, and contemplative Christian community is coming in several months!