Back to blogging and deeper listening

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged. (And I’ve barely done any writing in any form the past several weeks.) What I’ve missed about it most is the insights–formed by the collision of disparate ideas.

A few things that have happened: we hosted our annual Christmas Party for Kids on December 5th. It was a lovely event, with over 215 children passing through to put on a costume and pose as part of the manger scene (at the center is our lovely statue of Baby Jesus). I usually get to help out at the busiest and funnest place–dressing up the kids. St. Nicholas makes regular appearances throughout the day, and the cake, crafts and face painting are popular too. This year we had an amazing troop of generous volunteers–without them, we cannot pull off an event like this.

We’ve also enjoyed our last Faith and Film Evening for 2009–Gran Torino proved to be an awesome choice which led to a dialogue that lasted almost an hour (and could have gone on longer, I’m sure). And our discernment mini-course seems to be touching the hearts and experiences of those who are attending!

In addition to our busy bookcentre and all the Advent and Christmas preparations, we’ve also had two new sisters join our community. Our Toronto community is now complete with six sisters! I hope to post photos and an introduction to each sister shortly.

As I turn my focus back to writing, one of the things that preoccupies me is how I can become a better listener. Like Mary, I want to “ponder in my heart” so that I understand how God is working in my life (and perhaps how God wants to work in my writing). In her book, The Way of Mary: Following Her Footsteps Towards God, Mary Ford-Grabowsky describes what she thinks this uniquely Marian phrase means: “Ultimately, pondering in the heart means reflecting on things from a perspective of love, with the realization that God is close and involved in every experience.”

Contemplation is seeing with the eyes of love. If I can practice doing that more and more, maybe my pen (or more accurately my keyboard) can become “of love.” God is loving me in and through every experience of my life…if I have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. Wouldn’t it be awesome if my contemplation helped me to be free enough to allow God to love others fully in and through me?

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