Have you ever wondered what the twelve days of Christmas are about?
Thus last year we decided to take time off every day to ponder each of them. This year we will do it again and gladly invite you to be part of this journey:
If you feel Christmas always comes faster than expected, and you are not ready for the season, or if the Christmas story does not reach you anymore in the midst of tragic news and the buzz to get things done before the end of the year; if your heart is heavy and burdened and rather offended by Christmas Schmalz, we would like to invite you to a dwelling place, right where you are.
Just as the monastery has many rooms, wise teachers tell us that we, ourselves, consist of many rooms waiting to be explored, inhabited, and set in order. We will be guided this year by the published reflections of Johannes Eckert, Abbot of St. Boniface and Andechs Abbeys in Munich. In a recently published book Abbot Johannes leads us to "build a cloister in our hearts" and uses an ancient plan of the Monastery of St. Gallen as his model. We will follow some of Abbot Johannes's reflections on the rooms in the monastery as we think about our own dwelling places and about how we might welcome the Christ child into our homes.
You will likely also run into more of our favorite characters for Christmas reflection including Mary, Joseph, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard, Wenceslaus, Rumi, Bonhoeffer, Kierkegaard, Jung and other wise women and men.
We invite you to walk together with us towards the heart of the 12 days of Christmas, to take a break from the hustle and bustle, to breathe, and to wonder, guided and sustained by wise women and men, who lead us along.
We do not follow much of the tradition of the 12 Christmas days, but rather explore every year anew what Christmas might mean to each of us, where we are on our journeys of life, and how these 12 days might help us to create a breathing space between Christmas Day and Epiphany, to replenish us for the new journeys ahead.
Sustained by poems, stories and spiritual practices we will walk toward the threshold of the New Year where old and new meet. We will then guide you into some end of year reflections and spiritual practices. From there we walk together towards the light of Epiphany.
You are invited to take some time every day to walk through our virtual Christmas door to find some poetry, reflections, images, and practices to lead you through the 12 days of Christmas. You can visit our blog daily or just subscribe to receive the daily reflection right in your inbox each of the twelve days. (Links will be added soon)
However you choose we welcome you on this journey. We are looking forward to journeying with you through this sacred time.
Almut & Chuck