— Fr. David’s Blog of 7/10/2020 — This is an invitation to participate in a program offered by my friends, the Rev. Robert Gallagher and Ms. Michelle Heyne from the Order of the Ascension. I hope all members of SsAM will take the time to read what Robert and Michelle are offering to parishes around the country at this time as we continue to stay home. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact me, Father David.
To Make Ourselves At Home
On the Feast of the Ascension, members of the Order of the Ascension gathered on Zoom for prayer and conversation. Our Presiding Sister, Michelle Heyne, OA, offered a quote from Father Richard Benson, SSJE.
We must [develop the] habit of at once jumping into our place and finding ourselves at home in it, just as much at home there is anywhere else. … The religious life is not to be a dreamy dissatisfaction with the present state of things, it is not to be a mere not knowing what to do next because things about us are as they are, but it is the consciousness of being able to make ourselves at home under all circumstances and able to turn everything that happens to account. This is what the religious should be – ready; ready but not fussy. —Fr. Benson, SSJE
He is of course correct that one of the tasks of those of us in the Religious Life is “to make ourselves at home in all circumstances.” And to turn that to good account. It’s also the task of every Christian.
The idea for this program emerged after about a month into the nation’s (the world’s) efforts to cope with the pandemic. We noticed an increase in people talking about feelings of loneliness and hostility. For some who lived alone there was an increase of anxiety and depression; for others it expressed itself in excessive drinking or suicidal thoughts. For people who lived with others there was too much togetherness. Both conditions set loose feelings of anger and resentment. And the impact of the pandemic came on top of an already existing decline of close friendships and a growing increase of political polarization. Then came an economic recession and protests over policing and race.
We begin with hostility because it may be the easiest force to see. We all experience hostility. Hostility within ourselves. Sometimes expressed toward others. Hostility directed at us. In these times it may seem that the hostility is on the increase.
The relationship among loneliness, solitude and hostility in my spiritual life. How as Christians we can “make ourselves at home under all circumstances”–including in times of isolation and loneliness, division and polarization, illness and death.
1) To increase my understanding of the spiritual dynamics
2) To learn a few traditional methods of the spiritual life
3) To learn a broader spiritual map
Join Us On Zoom.us
ZOOM: We will gather from parishes across the country on Zoom.
DATES: September 10, 17, and 24, 2020
TIME: 1:00 pm Eastern; 12:00 pm Central; 11:00 am Mountain; and 10:00 am Pacific
EACH SESSION: Will last between 50 and 75 minutes.
PARTICIPANTS: The invitation is being extended to all parishes in which a Professed Member of the Order of the Ascension is involved.
REGISTER: No later than September 1, 2020. Please use the contact form on this website to let Fr. David know your interest. He will forward your email to Robert and Michelle, who will reply to you by email.
FEE: There is no fee
ADVANCE WORK: You’ll be asked to read two or three pages before each session and to consider the issues and questions offered in the reading. The readings will be made available six days before each session.
EACH SESSION: Each session will include –
An exercise in which you consider the theme in relation to your life
Small group sharing (share only what you want to share)
A presentation with conversation and Q&A
1) Participants need to access the session through a Zoom invitation that will be sent out at least one day prior to each session. You need to have both the video and sound active. We want to be able to see all the participants and have them see one another.
2) The meeting site will be open about 5 minutes before we begin. Please be on time. We will close the meeting at 5 minutes after the hour.
COFFEE & TEA: Made just as you like it, by you, at home
PROGRAM LEADERS: Michelle Heyne, OA & Robert Gallagher, OA.
THE ORDER OF THE ASCENSION: Is a dispersed Benedictine community of the Episcopal Church, founded in 1983. Click here to learn more.