July 9, 2020

“Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person.” -- Rachel Naomi Remen
Dear Friends,

In the midst of the July calendar, we find the feast of one of the great Wisdom figures of Western Christianity...St. Benedict. Benedict’s gift to the ages was the opening line of his rule: “Listen with the ear of your heart.” He calls us to place our heart close to God’s own heart, to hear the tender love God holds for us. He bids us to lean into the story of each other, making space for its sacredness. He asks us to create “a monastery of the heart”, a silent place of hospitality where we can welcome God’s love for our stricken world

We live surrounded by empty, rageful and confusing words. Beneath the chaos and noise, the abiding presence of God flows as “the river under the river.” This stream of compassion and mercy rises from the broken heart of God to the brokenness of every age, bringing healing and transformation. In longing, we cry with the psalmist, “Bend your ear, O God...listen to the prayer of our heart, for we are poor and needy.” In turn, God invites us to listen to the holiness truth of our own experience...our sadness and joy, our grief and anxiety. God turns us toward one another, where “the joys and hopes, griefs and anxiety of the people of this age, especially those who are poor and needy” are our own. “Nothing genuinely human fails to find an echo in our hearts,” the Church reminds us. 

In the next few weeks, Cranaleith offers wonderful opportunities for this deeper listening. We can open our hearts to a story where the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage converge. We can listen to stories of our brothers and sisters waiting for mercy at our border...“news” that is buried under the louder stories that fill the media. We can listen under the currents of this summer’s upheaval and discover the transforming wisdom God has been awakening in one another. Most especially, we can find one another as we draw close in silence to God’s unrelenting promise. Please consider joining us. Know that we pray for you each day.  

Cranaleith Staff

In the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone.
Eventually, you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone,
the Unseen singing softly to itself and to you.”  -- Rachel Naomi Remen
Retreat From Home
Reflect From Home

The human retina has two kinds of receptors for light: rods, which absorb low light, and cones, which help us see color. Many of the cones are packed in the center of the back of the eye and the rods are on either side. I find this helpful for star-gazing. Since starlight is low-level light, when I look to the side of the object I am viewing, my rods are aimed at it and I see the object more clearly.

I liken this sideways-sort of vision to the parabolic vision Jesus discusses in this Sunday’s gospel. We can look at the world straight on, which is helpful for seeing some things, like science or economics, but we also need to look off to the side a bit. Then we can see other important layers of meaning in life. If we do not, we become like the people both Jesus and Is 6 complain about, “You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall look but never see.” 

  • How have the events of the past five months gotten you to "look to the side" and see the world differently?
  • Which parts of your life match up with which types of soil in the Parable of the Sower? What can you do to amend the soil in the non-productive parts?

From Good News 4 You by  Bernadette Rudolph
Meanwhile at Cranaleith
St. Christopher Church Eagle Scout Service Project complete! Two Scouts, Nick Schmidt in the fall and Ryan Bowman now (in photo), have completed our walking trail. Congratulations on a job well done. We are very grateful. Of course, they could not have done it without the help of the rest of the troop and their families! Thank you!
Retreat From Home

In this time of COVID-19, when physical distancing is the order of the day, Cranaleith is offering new programs online via Zoom. 
Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Thursday, July 30, 7-8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 5, 12 and 19, 7-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m .

Tuesday, August 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

We invite you to join us for a
Wednesday, August 5, 12 and 19, 7-8:30 p.m.
Resources From Home

Spiritual Direction
We are still offering  Spiritual Direction via phone and teleconferencing. Contact Cathy Maguire, RSM at  cmaguire@cranaleith.org  or 215-858-6239. Psychotherapy is also available. Please contact Leslie Porreca, RSM, LCSW.  Learn more

Fresh Produce
Visit our Farm Table at Cranaleith - Items change weekly
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Community Support

Watch From Home

Connect With Us Online 
Get daily prayers, reflections, blog posts and images from our beautiful property via our website and social media channels.
Web:  www.cranaleith.org  

Give From Home
Did you know that when you make a purchase on Amazon you can choose a charity? Make your Amazon purchases through AmazonSmile and select Cranaleith Spiritual Center as your charity of choice – At no additional cost!
Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Cranaleith offers a contemplative space for all those seeking wholeness and transformation for themselves and society. We are committed to making Cranaleith accessible to all, especially to persons who are poor and those who work in solidarity with them. We invite those at the center of need and those at the center of influence to reflection, reverent dialogue and meaningful partnerships. Please help us support our work.
Cranaleith Spiritual Center | 13475 Proctor Road | Phila., PA 19116