Friends of SSJE
 March 2007
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Greetings!

 Greetings from the SSJE Superior
 

Dear Friends of SSJE,

At the outset of Lent we pray, ?Create and make in us new and contrite hearts...? The English word, ?contrite,? comes from the Latin, "contritus," which means ?thoroughly crushed.? This prayer is not for a broken heart, but rather, for a heart broken open. To be contrite heeds the continual warnings of the Old Testament prophets who decry the people have become ?hard hearted,? that is, insolent and indifferent to the needs of the poor. The prayer for a contrite heart uses double metaphor. It is asking for God?s aid for our own heart?s being broken open to the needs of the world that surrounds us, a world that God so loves.
It is also a prayer for our being given a like-new heart. This is not a heart bypass procedure. Rather, this is a thoroughfare right through our heart ? spiritual angioplasty ? with every vessel and valve completely unclogged, pumping afresh with the love of God.


Since the Middle Ages, many people have been drawn in devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus, among them Julian of Norwich, the Carthusians, the Jesuits, and our own SSJE ancestors. You may find it meaningful this Lenten season to pray that your own heart be broken open more and more to the love of Jesus, and encompassed by Jesus? sacred heart of love for this world.

Good Jesu:
Lead me that I may follow Thee;
hold me that I may hold me fast by Thee;
teach me that I may learn of Thee;
give me Thy love
that I may love Thee only,
for I have no power to love
save through the grace of that dear love
that comes from Thy Heart.
Guide me with Thine eye
that my footsteps fail not;
keep me that I may be for ever Thine.

O Good Jesu:
Write Thy wounds upon my heart
that in them I may read
sorrow and love:
sorrow that I may bear all suffering for thee;
love that I may breathe love on all for thee.

O Good Jesu:
In Thy love and thy tenderness,
let Thy Cross be my cross,
that Thy love may be my love.
Break, break open this heart of mine
that my heart may be one with Thy broken Sacred Heart


Excerpted from Corda in Coelo



Curtis Almquist, SSJE

 


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Palm Sunday You may link to our complete schedule

Learn more about the Holy Week tradition


 


 Letter from a Friend of SSJE
 The Rev. Canon Steven C. Bonsey

Africa 3


Imagine a playground game in which all the children are holding hands, dancing in a circle, and you are standing alone in the center.

All eyes are on you. You are attached to no one; you can move as you please. And you are not connected; you are not in the dance.


In January I traveled as a member of the Fellowship of St. John with Brother Curtis Almquist, SSJE, to the Diocese of Tanga, Tanzania, to lead a week of continuing education for clergy at the request of their bishop, the Rt. Rev. Philip Baji.

As American Christians traveling to Tanzania, we came from the center of worldly power ? a place where we live and do as we please, because we can ? to a place of scarce opportunity.


There we found an abundance that precisely met our poverty: an abundance of welcome and hospitality; an abundance of joyful song and ready praise; an abundance of faith carrying many people daily through unimaginable travails.

How great might be our joy as American Christians to move from the center to the margins, to join hands there in the dance! And how great the cost! I am still counting it.


The Rev. Canon Steven C. Bonsey, lives in Cambridge and is a member of the Fellowship of Saint John

 


 Ministry in Practice
 Br. Roy Cockrum, SSJE

Br. Roy For at least as long as I have lived at the monastery, more than four years now, I have had a neighbor whom I have completely ignored. I don?t know her name. I don?t know her story. I don?t know her struggles. To survive for all these years on the street through the bitter winters of Cambridge she must have had help from a great number of people. But not from me. To my shame, I have a habit of scurrying past her, preferably without looking, and just as quickly as possible. I have not loved my neighbor as myself. I have not invited her to join in the dance.

The Gospel invites us to look at those places in ourselves where we might not look if left on our own. We are reminded that we must be on guard for not just the sins we commit but also the sins of omission that may fill our lives. To look at opportunities to lift up the downtrodden, feed the hungry, care for the sick and love our neighbor that we may be missing.

We have a great many examples of how to do this from our ancestors in the faith. St. Martin of Tours, as he passed a man on the road who was freezing to death, used his sword to rip his own cloak in half and gave half to the man. That night he had a dream where Jesus came to him wearing that same cloak. Giving the man his cloak came from a place of deep compassion. He saw Christ in ?the other.? As opposed to all the others who passed the freezing man on that road, he did not scurry past him but gave him half of all he had.


So the next time I am scurrying through the park and past my long-time neighbor, perhaps I will have the courage to take St. Martin?s example. Perhaps I will have the compassion to amend my ways and repent of my sins of omission. Perhaps I?ll introduce myself and finally know my neighbor?s name, her struggles, and even her story. And with God?s help, perhaps together she and I will rejoin the dance.

 


 Message from Director, Friends of SSJE
 

I experience the brothers, as I know many of you do, as radiating out the love of Christ. So as I find myself included in a circle of Friends that they have touched, I have been humbled by the love and care that the Friends radiate back.

As you may have seen in the Cowley Quarterly the Friends of SSJE increased their gifts by over 40% in 2006. Thank you, we are very grateful. This means that the Friend's donations covered 40% of SSJE's $2 million operating budget.

We are hoping that in 2007 to cover at least a similar portion of the budget or greater. Why? SSJE needs to reduce its dependence on investment income so that part of the income can be used to better maintain the brothers? two sacred sites, the Monastery and Emery House in West Newbury. To this end we are hoping to raise $400,000 by June 30th. We send out two appeals a year in the Spring and the Fall. The Spring appeal will arrive around Easter.

Thank you for your care for the brothers who care so deeply for all of us.


James (Jamie) Coats

 


 Upcoming Retreats and Workshops
 ... these upcoming programs at our monastery guesthouse and at Emery House!



SATURDAY WORKSHOPS AT THE MONASTERY


CENTERING PRAYER
March 10, 2007 (Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm)
A day of teaching, discussion and practice on Centering Prayer, based on the principles taught in Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, by Cynthia Bourgeault (Cowley Publications, 2004).
Led by Br. ROY COCKRUM

HEALING TOUCH
April 28, 2007 (Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm)
Using a Christ-centered approach to healing touch, and employing prayer, meditation, scripture, reflection, and the hands on practice, this workshop invites participants to experience God's healing love and to be channels of that love and healing power to others. Led by Br. JONATHAN MAURY and Ms. PATRICIA WARREN.
(Noted Christian healer Patricia Warren has traveled the world studying and teaching Buddhist, Sikh and Christian methods of healing for the past twenty years).


RECONCILIATION: The Art of Hearing Confessions
May 26, 2007 (Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm)
This one-day workshop is intended for priests, seminarians and other ministers who are (or will be) engaged with the ministry of reconciliation. It will explore the meaning of the Rite of Reconciliation, offer practical guidance for hearing confessions in a sacramental context, and explore ways of introducing the rite in parishes where it is not widely used.
Led by Brs. CURTIS ALMQUIST and DAVID VRYHOF




RETREATS AT THE MONASTERY


LENTEN QUIET DAY FOR CLERGY
March 20, 2007 (Tuesday, 9:30 am ? 4:00 pm)
Utilizing the beautiful setting of Emery House, this spacious quiet day will offer deacons and priests a chance to reflect and pray and to renew their own spirits during the season of Lent. The day will include a focusing address in the morning, the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, space and time for prayer, and a closing gathering.
Guests are welcome to stay overnight, if they wish.

Led by Br. JAMES KOESTER

FIVE-DAY COMPANIONED RETREAT
May 8-13, 2007 (Tuesday, 5 pm ? Sunday 2 pm)
Enjoy a week-long retreat in the beautiful spaces of Emery House, with the opportunity to meet daily with one of the brothers as a spiritual companion and guide.
Led by Brs. JAMES KOESTER, ROBERT L?ESPERANCE and ELDRIDGE PENDLETON

HIS GARMENT?S HEM: Receiving and Offering Christ?s Healing Touch
May 17-20, 2007 (Thursday, 5 pm ? Sunday 2 pm)
Using a Christ-centered approach to healing touch, and employing prayer, meditation, scripture, reflection, and ?hands on? practice, this retreat invites participants to experience God?s healing love. (Noted Christian healer Patricia Warren has traveled the world studying and teaching Buddhist, Sikh and Christian methods of healing for the past twenty years.)
Led by Br. JONATHAN MAURY and PATRICIA WARREN




RETREATS AT EMERY HOUSE


LENTEN QUIET DAY FOR CLERGY
March 20, 2007 (Tuesday, 9:30 am ? 4:00 pm)
Utilizing the beautiful setting of Emery House, this spacious quiet day will offer deacons and priests a chance to reflect and pray and to renew their own spirits during the season of Lent. The day will include a focusing address in the morning, the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, space and time for prayer, and a closing gathering.
Guests are welcome to stay overnight, if they wish.

Led by Br. JAMES KOESTER

FIVE-DAY COMPANIONED RETREAT
May 8-13, 2007 (Tuesday, 5 pm ? Sunday 2 pm)
Enjoy a week-long retreat in the beautiful spaces of Emery House, with the opportunity to meet daily with one of the brothers as a spiritual companion and guide.
Led by Brs. JAMES KOESTER, ROBERT L?ESPERANCE and ELDRIDGE PENDLETON

HIS GARMENT?S HEM: Receiving and Offering Christ?s Healing Touch
May 17-20, 2007 (Thursday, 5 pm ? Sunday 2 pm)
Using a Christ-centered approach to healing touch, and employing prayer, meditation, scripture, reflection, and ?hands on? practice, this retreat invites participants to experience God?s healing love. (Noted Christian healer Patricia Warren has traveled the world studying and teaching Buddhist, Sikh and Christian methods of healing for the past twenty years.)
Led by Br. JONATHAN MAURY and PATRICIA WARREN


To contact the Monastery guesthouse
guesthouse@ssje.org
To contact the Emery House
emeryhouse@ssje.org


 


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