Away For The Week
After vigils yesterday morning Abbot Gerard headed out to the Abbey of New Melleray in Dubuque, Iowa to preach the annual week’s retreat to the community there. If all goes well, which we hope and pray it does, he is due back next Saturday.
Speaking Of Retreats
Come early March we will be making our annual retreat but more about that when the time draws near. Meanwhile all remains peaceful despite predictions of a pending nor’easter we don’t need.
The call to contemplative prayer is a call into the unknown. It is not a call to nowhere, but it is a nowhere that we can imagine. Each time we consent to an enhancement of faith, our world changes and all our relationships have to be adjusted to the new perspective that has been given to us.
Our relationship to ourselves, to Jesus Christ to our neighbor, to the Church – even to God himself – all change. It is the end of the world we have previously known and lived in.
Sometimes the Spirit deliberately shatters those worlds. If we have depended upon them to go to God, it may feel as if we have lost God. We may have doubts about God’s very existence. It is not the God of faith we are doubting, but only the God of our limited concepts or dependencies; this god never existed anyway.
Pure faith is the purification of the human props in our relationship to God. As these are relinquished, we relate more directly to the divine presence, even though it may feel like the end of our spiritual life.
Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO