Archive for February, 2019

Inner Light

We have grown accustomed to next versions and new models of everything. As a society, there is a seemingly insatiable appetite for new tech. This is an extension of the growing need for external stimulation with ever greater realism. At the same time, there is a diminishing interest in the classics and ancient wisdom. Yet, truth is truth and it is timeless despite the popularity of relativism.

Believing that truth is relative to the perceiver leaves no solid reference points as guides to a meaningful life. Before long, meaning is reduced to materialism and consumption and immediate gratification of needs. The consequence of all this is isolation in the shallows of life. But, the deep remains.

Reorienting ourselves calls for establishing a rule of life that acts as the latticework by which to guide our spiritual growth. We see increasing reference to ideas such as seminaries and monasteries without walls and the growth of a ”contemporary catholicism”. We can learn much by looking at the practices of monks and friars and repurposing these for creative use. As a Franciscan Tertiary, I am blessed with a community of companions on a journey to spiritual liberation around the examples of Saints Francis and Clare.

Regularly revisiting my own rule of life, I bring the question to prayer and reflection today: What is the essence of being a ”monk/friar in the world”?

Quiet time on the question resulted in the following differentiating principles in contrast to the customary norms of American culture:

1. Seeing time as a gift from God to be used for slowing down to better listen to the substance of deeper and otherwise hidden things.

2. Cultivating the art of being a living presence of the timeless past in a society more often suffering from an amnesia about abiding truth.

3. Practicing simple acts of sacred remembrance to live the day ”sacramentally” and manifest the abundance of the Spirit.

4. Listening for the whispers of the Spirit on the wind and watching for the many miraculous signs of His Presence.

5. Framing our day with scriptural bookends to unleash the Hearts deepest desire to enter into Holy space and time.

6. Downsizing the distractions and external clutter to support the decluttering of mind and heart.

7. To silence the ego with an open hearted embrace of the other as Oneself as antidote for the afflictions of fear and disaffection.

8. Acting in ways to magnify the Light of the World in thought, word and deed.

9. Redefining oneself in the context of a supportive community of brothers and sisters, companions on the ” Road to Emmaus”, helping each other to see the Christ in each other.

10. Establishing a disciplined way of Being that liberates heart and mind for inspired Doing in Christ.

11. Finding meaning in unencumbered silence – beyond all words.

12. Cultivating a loving and radical hospitality and an eagerness to be both a student and a teacher.

It is good to also examine our daily intake of information and interrogate its value. Much of what’s in print ( online or in print) is either a confection or a rehash of far older ideas best read in the original. We are on firmer ground if we search for the roots of our ideas and beliefs rather than accepting them at face value.

Truly, all our thinking tests on the shoulders of giants.

© The Harried Mystic, 2019 and Br. Anton, TSSF. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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