Live, Laugh, Love, Lectio

The tree lined road to the monastery Welcome C...

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This week I led a retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit on the theme of “Live, Laugh, Love.” It’s an interesting topic to explore in the setting of a Trappist monastery, known for its silent atmosphere and ethos of Cistercian simplicity. But the small group of retreatants and I have enjoyed plenty of fun and chuckles as we have explored our topic together.

One of the exercises I provided for the retreatants was a lectio divina exercise on the following scripture verses. I thought they were worth passing along. The next time you need a gentle reminder that contemplative spirituality is all about laughter and joy, reflect on these verses:

We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in disrepute. (I Corinthians 4:10)

Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD had done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2)

Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. (Luke 6:21)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

I believe I shall enjoy the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

Translations are from either the New Revised Standard Version or the New American Bible.

In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech
Preliminary Practices for Christian Contemplatives
Pentecost and Ecstasy
"They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love" — And These Gifts Make It Possible
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Yewtree

    Hooray — great verses. Nice to have one’s attention drawn to some jollity in the Bible — too often people only pick out the sombre bits.

    It’s also important for any spiritual tradition to be able to laugh at itself.

    I have been doing a bit of lectio divina</a. as well, inspired by your Big Book of Christian Mysticism.

  • chaidrinkingfool

    A Catholic priest, an Episcopal priest, and a Catholic nun walk into a retreat house…

    I can’t believe that didn’t occur to me during the retreat: I’m sure that would have elicited numerous groans.