Saturday, March 28, 2020

Lenten Psalm of Awakening

Come, O Life-giving Creator,
and rattle the door latch
of my slumbering heart.
Awaken me as you breathe upon
a winter-wrapped earth,
gently calling to life virgin Spring.
Awaken in these fortified days
of Lenten prayer and discipline
my youthful dream of holiness.
Call me forth from the prison camp
of my numerous past defeats
and my narrow patters of being
to make my ordinary life extra-ordinarily alive,
through the passion of my love.
Show to me during these Lenten days
how to take the daily things of life
and by submerging them in the sacred,
to infuse them with a great love
for you, O God, and for others.
Guide me to perform simple acts of love and prayer,
the real works of reform and renewal
of this overture to the spring of the Spirit.
O Father of Jesus, Mother of Christ,
help me not to waste
these precious Lenten days
of my soul’s spiritual springtime.
–Edward Hays, from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim

Friday, March 27, 2020

Generous isn’t always the same as free, Seth Godin

Generous isn’t always the same as free, Seth Godin

People have been generous with you through the years. A doctor who took the time to understand your pain. A server who didn’t hesitate and brought you what you needed before you even knew you needed it. A boss who gave you a project at just the right time.

Gifts create connection and possibility, but not all gifts have monetary value. In fact, some of the most important gifts involve time, effort and care instead.

Money was invented long after humans arrived on the scene, and commerce can’t solve all problems.
In this moment when we’re so disconnected and afraid, the answer might not be a freebie. That might simply push us further apart. The answer might be showing up to do the difficult work of connection, of caring and of extending ourselves where it’s not expected.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dave Matthews plays live tonight to support Small Business

A note from the Brothers of the St. John the Evangelist Society in Cambridge, MA

A note from the Brothers of the St. John the Evangelist Society in Cambridge, MA

My dear Friends,

My Brothers and I have been deeply touched by the messages of concern and hope that so many of you have expressed since we made the difficult decision to close not only the Guesthouse, but also the Monastery Chapel for public worship, during this time of tremendous anxiety.

Never before has a line from our Rule of Life seemed so appropriate. In the chapter on Worship we read that we Brothers offer our worship … on behalf of the entire world. At a time when so many Christians are cut off from physically gathering to worship and celebrate the Eucharist, our life of corporate worship continues. Even though others may not be able to be physically present, your presence is none the less felt. This is especially true at the daily Eucharist and Compline, when we have the opportunity to mention before God so many of you by name. We offer our worship on behalf of the entire world.

Last week we made a recording of Compline which is now online at We invite you to join us, wherever you are, and uphold the entire world in your prayers.

Please know of our prayers for you during this anxious time.

Faithfully in the One who calms our fears,

James Koester SSJE

At this time when the Monastery Chapel is closed, the Brothers invite you to join us for our nightly Compline - the ancient monastic service of bedtime prayers.

Morning Prayers this morning

From "Becoming Minimalist" - 25 Things to Do with your Family While Stuck at Home

Becoming Minimalist Logo

25 Things to Do with Your Family While Stuck at Home

As with most the world, we’ve been spending a lot more time at home in recent days.
It’s important, in these unique times, to redeem the hours and make the most of the moments we have together. There are negative ramifications to the current state of affairs in our world—and you don’t need to see them broadcast in the media, many of you are experiencing them firsthand.
But the negative effects of the Coronavirus do not need to overwhelm us. We can also choose positive effects: spending time with family, taking longer rests, finding solitude, and escaping the busyness of our normal lives.
With that in mind, here’s my list of 25 things to do while stuck at home to redeem the time and make the most of it.
0. Wake up, get dressed. I need to include this one here because it’s important to start each day with the right attitude. Every day is an opportunity to make the most of it. Don’t miss a single opportunity—regardless of the circumstances around you.
1. Declutter. Minimize your possessions and declutter the stuff in your home. The more we spend time in our home, the more we can recognize what can and should be removed—and the more time we have to do it. Check out Clutterfree if you’re looking for steps to get started
2. Learn new card games. I grew up playing cards‚ even as a young child. And not just Go Fish and War, but strategy games like Hearts, Spades, Rook, and Pinochle. They taught me how to think ahead, play out scenarios, and learn from others. All valuable life skills.
3. Make phone calls. Safe to say the phone call is making a comeback. All those people you would usually see at work, church, or social gatherings, give them a call to say hello.
4. Teach your kids life skills. My son is a junior in high school and my wife and I have a long list of life skills we want him to know before he leaves the house. We’ve been using these weeks to make up for lost time. If you haven’t already, use the time to teach your kids cooking, laundry, cleaning, car repair, budgeting, or any other life skills that come to mind.
5. Go outside. If still allowed in your local area, go on long walks or hikes. Spend time in the park or walk along the river.
6. Workout. We need to be taking care of our physical bodies and taking care of our physical fitness during this time as well. Look up at-home workouts/yoga on YouTube or Google and do them together as a family.
7. Watch educational programs. I see a lot of people spending time on Netflix—binging movies and television shows. And there’s certainly a place for that. But you can also watch educational documentaries on Netflix and YouTube about history, science, or events in the world.
8. Learn a new skill. Been wanting to pick up a hobby? Now’s your chance. Learn a new language or how to code. Pick up an instrument or new artistic skill. Because of the Internet, finding a teacher (free or paid) has never been easier.
9. Create. I started this blog as a hobby—somehow it grew to over 2M readers/month. Start something of your own. Create a blog or a YouTube channel. Write some stories or poetry. Or use your hands in the workshop. Create something, we need you now more than ever.
10. Do a Facebook Live. Nothing to it. Just click a few buttons on your phone and suddenly all your friends can see you. It’s super fun. If you haven’t before, now’s your time.
11. Write letters. To a family member or friend you haven’t seen in awhile.
12. Invent a game. Looking around the room at the supplies you have, make up a game to play with your kids. Or better yet, invent an entire Family Olympics where each member of the family gets to pick 1-2 of the events. Keep a running total of the points.
13. Read books. You should probably be doing that anyway.
14. Late night movie with the family. Depending on your local school situation of course. But if it works, there’s nothing more fun for little kids than staying up past bedtime, eating popcorn, and watching a movie with mom or dad. Make it happen.
15. Video chat with friends. Whether it’s on FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger or Zoom, connect and hang out online for a little while.
16. Home repairs or a deep clean. Make up some ground on that list of yours.
17. Sort through boxes of old photos. Keep the best and put them in photo albums or digitize for future generations.
18. Clean up your computer digital files. Here.
19. Curate and organize your recipe/cookbook stash. I use index cards to keep all my favorites in the same place.
20. Make up TikTok dances with the family. I see a lot of those short, choreographed dances being posted. Super fun for everyone.
21. Create games to share with family members. Invent a WordSearch or Crossword Puzzle using the members of your family and send them out for everyone else to complete during their downtime.
22. Take a class online. You can find plenty of courses for kids and adults available for free online. Including Yale’s most popular college course ever.
23. Order takeout and have a picnic. If your local community still allows that, you can support local business and enjoy time outside as a family (weather-permitting of course).
24. Research your family tree. You can use online tools or do it the old-fashioned way—calling family members to begin piecing it together.
25. Learn online tools for business. One’s thing is for sure—business is going to change going forward. Learn as quick as you can how remote work is accomplished: Zoom, Slack, Skype, Dropbox, and numerous others. Now’s your time to learn them.
There are so many options to make the most of the time now—and probably ahead of us for a little bit longer.
What have you been doing that could be added to the list?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Peace of Wild Things

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

Monday, March 23, 2020

Psalm 23 ~ 'Translated' by Eugene Peterson

Psalm 23

GOD, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
The Message (MSG)Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Canterbury Cathedral offering live-stream daily services

Live Worship from Canterbury Cathedral

Live streaming of worship will take place at the following times:
Monday – Friday
Eucharist ~ 8am EST
Evensong ~ 1:30 pm EST
Saturday – Sunday
Morning Prayer 5:30 am EST
Eucharist ~ 8am EST 
Evensong ~ 11:15. am EST