Dear Community of the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center (ISLC),
During this Lenten season my intention has been to practice mindfulness. The ISLC's Tuesday Morning Mindfulness group provided inspiration for this journey. I find that carving out time to gather for our weekly communal prayer, meditation and sharing transforms my day. This Lent I committed to exploring different ways to practice mindfulness - to be aware of God's presence, aware of the communities I am part of and aware of my own mind and body.
So I took to the spiritual streets and asked everyone I could think of about their own mindfulness practices, I tried a practice of meditation with the San Francisco Sound Meditation Group and last week, I walked from home to the ISLC for the first time (a lovely 3.5 mile stroll through Golden Gate Park) as a way to witness nature, unplug and create an intention for the day ahead.
Interspersed in this season of mindfulness there were also (many) days where I thought I was too busy to be mindful, reminding me that mindfulness is not something that we succeed at or complete. Rather, mindfulness is a practice that is continually revealed to us through our daily lives, our community and our God. It is a way of being in the world where we cultivate and rediscover our interconnectedness, holiness and love.
With all that is unfolding in our world and country, a practice of mindfulness is a way for us to stay rooted in our relationship with God, to be more aware of our needs and desires, and to be able to witness the needs of our community with renewed eyes, ears and hearts. As we enter into Holy Week, the Easter Season & Springtime, I invite you to make a new commitment to a practice of mindfulness. Join us at the ISLC this month for Holy Yoga, Tuesday Morning Mindfulness and our monthly prayer for peace. To see all that's happening, Click Here for the full calendar.
As you discover and explore mindfulness comment on this blog post or send us a note to share about practices that are meaningful to you!
Peace & Prayers,
In an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit that was published on March 9, Pope Francis briefly discussed the Commission on the Women’s Diaconate. Although his remarks included some that challenge the role of women deacons, Francis also spoke about the task of theology today. “You must do research to get to the bottom of things, always. This also applies to the study of Scripture. The historical-critical method: What does this mean at that time? What does it mean today? Truth is not to be afraid. That tells us the historical truth, the scientific truth: Do not be afraid! That makes us free.” Following the instruction of Pope Francis, the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center is delving into the study of the Women’s Diaconate in our Book Series. We are reading Women Deacons: Past, Present, and Future. We welcome you to join us and communities around the world in reading and discussing the book!
Purchase a copy of the book Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future here.
Archbishop John Wester, leader of the Diocese of Santa Fe, N.M., has said that it is not a question of whether or not migrants are breaking the law, but if the law is breaking them.
This week the Tuesday Morning Mindfulness group prayed with a poem by Hafiz, entitled "The Seed Cracked Open." As we enter into the Lenten Season, may the spirit of Hafiz's insight and playfulness with God ground our prayer and action.
‘It used to be
That when I would wake in the morning
I could with confidence say,
”What am ‘I’ going to
That was before the seed
Now Hafiz is certain:
There are two of us housed
In this body,
Doing the shopping together in the market and
Tickling each other
While fixing the evening’s food.
Now when I awake
All the internal instruments play the same music:
”God, what love-mischief can ‘We’ do
For the world
Dear Community of the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center,
As we enter the Lenten Season, preparing to walk with Jesus in His suffering, death and resurrection, we pray that we might have the courage and vulnerability to grow in our relationship with God by experiencing Jesus' love for us and hearing Jesus' call to be His disciples. We can journey together this Lent in the ISLC's community reading of Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungary, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned and Keep Your Day Job by Kerry Weber, managing editor at the Jesuit publication, America Magazine. The book documents one of Kerry's Lenten experiences where, instead of giving something up, she decides to do the corporal works of mercy.
Kerry inspires us this season to ask, "how do I let God work through me?" With a world and a country in crisis, we must make a commitment to ourselves, to our community and to God to stay grounded in God's love, to be contemplatives in action and to prophetically, fiercely and compassionately love the world.
This Lent, join us at the ISLC for a community reading of Mercy in the City, to pray for peace, experience Holy Yoga and continue to work with the Sanctuary Movement- all so that we can continue learning how to better love God and our neighbor.
See you soon at the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center!
Peace & Prayers,
Natalie Terry, Director of ISLC, had the pleasure of meeting the sisters of the Redwood Monastery four years ago when she made a retreat at their beautiful spot along the Lost Coast in California. She had a profound experience of God's love and mercy there and has looked for opportunities to collaborate with the Cistercian sisters ever since.
This year, the Sisters are generously offering a Lenten retreat to young adults at the ISLC. The day offers a guided introduction to Liturgy of the Hours, the Practice of Silence, and Lectio Divina. The day will also include light manual labor, silent contemplative prayer, sharing on Monastic Life, and talks with the Sisters. Click here for more information. If you know a young adult who could benefit from this experience, please pass the word.
We are grateful for the sisters bringing the monastery to the city for a day!
At the ISLC launch in January, we invited the community to participate in a new apostolic council structure made up of three Councils: Church Justice, Global Justice, and Spiritual Life. Many of you have signed up to participate to guide and invigorate the life and work of our community. Because of the sudden and sweeping work of the Sanctuary Movement at St. Agnes and ISLC, we have been slower than anticipated in taking the next steps. But rest assured, they are coming! We will be holding our first planning meetings in April and May. These meetings are crucial to getting the structure up and going for the Fall. We hope you will bear with us and keep your enthusiasm alive as we move forward. Stay tuned for specifics and In the meantime, join our Sanctuary work! We can use your fiery spirit and willing hands!
As you know, St. Agnes and the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center declared sanctuary in January just prior to the inauguration. Since then, our community has responded swiftly and generously. We have had two training sessions for the Rapid Response Network totaling over 400 people and we have begun several initiatives that empower our parishioners and community members to give back. We are now in the process of forming a Sanctuary Committee, an Accompaniment Team, and a Parish Education Initiative. Read more about our Sanctuary work here, and contact Natalie Terry if you are interested in being part of this loving response.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network is offering an online series entitled "Rise Up! A Lenten Call to Solidarity." From Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday, ISN will send a daily reflection exploring response to injustice through the lens of daily readings and Ignatian spirituality.
This series has an impressive line up that includes:
On Thursday, January 19th the Community of the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center blessed the doors of St. Agnes Church as sanctuary space for our immigrant sisters and brothers. Pray with us...
We ask for your blessing tonight on these holy doors.
You already call this place a sanctuary, may we live into what that truly means.
Give us the courage to open these doors and the doors of our hearts to all who knock and seek refuge.
God, in your Love, through your Son, with your Spirit,
Bless these doors and the doors of our hearts.