December: Creative Contemplation

The goal of contemplative practices is to develop deep intimacy with God, but sitting still and silently meditating isn't the only way to do that. Our unique gifts, talents, heritages, and cultures all contribute to how we uniquely draw near to God. So, to celebrate this (and hopefully inspire you to contemplate more creatively), each month we'll post a different piece of art along with some reflecting questions.

Some months this will be a song, a poem, a painting, a video, or a sculpture. Some months the piece will resonate deeply with you, some months it may upset you, and some months it may confuse you. Lean into whatever feelings the piece stirs up and allow it to draw you nearer to God's heart and expose your own. 

This month’s Creative Contemplation practice is a crayon and pencil drawing by Sister Grace Remington of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey (Abbey!) called “Mary Consoles Eve.” Take a moment to center yourself and welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit and then spend a couple minutes looking at the drawing and noticing what stands out to you. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide your imagination and open your heart to what God may prompt. It may be helpful to use a journal to note down your thoughts.

Once you’ve spent a couple minutes looking at the drawing, use the reflecting questions below to help guide you through a time of focused prayer and journaling.

“Mary Consoles Eve” Sr. Grace Remington

“Mary Consoles Eve”
Crayon & pencil drawing by Sr Grace Remington of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, 2005

The body language of Eve and Mary is striking. What feelings come up in your body as you look at Eve and the shame she carries? What feelings come up in your body as you look Mary and the redemption she carries?

Why do you think Eve is still holding on to the piece of fruit?

Blogger Laura Jean Truman writes , “Advent is the story of people who would not let go of their sin, and God came for us anyway. Advent is Eve, holding her sin. Advent is Mary, comforting her anyway.” How does this enlarge your experience of Advent?

What, if any, feeling does it evoke in you to see the Gospel story told through two women?

Imagine yourself at different points in your life as both of these women in the drawing. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, can you console the Eve that’s trapped by and holding on to sin? What would you say to her/him from a place of redemption, victory, and grace?