MONKDAY: A SPIRITUAL LIFE BEGINS
Monks hidden in the world can bring a contemplative lifestyle that surrounds others with a mystical sense of God’s presence. Like Jesus’ they bring healing, hope, light for the blind, a steadiness in a fragile world. Their silent prayers are uplifted into his Holy Presence.
A MONK DAY
I have been struggling with a question recently. How can one live a spiritual life daily amongst so much tragedy, so many political diatribes, the fear that surrounds us on every side, and the constant cry of struggling persons?We have lost God’s presence and it has been replaced by News Exclusives and pandering talking heads without thought of repercusions. Yes, it has always been that way, but it seems to be more derisive in our day.
How can we seek God and find him in a world like this?
A DAILY PILGRIMAGE
I have written some notes to myself about dreams and foundation stones of spiritual living in a broken world with hopes of reminding myself that, "God really is in control."
Here are some beginning notes and statements that have surfaced:Each step of each day is sacred.
Each person you meet has been sent by God.
Each word you share can be an inspiration.
What tokens of gratitude can you bring to God today for safe passage?
Pray. Pray. Pray!
Each day there is a picture of the presence of God.
The wind that passes has its journey to.
Listen for voices, a crow in the distance, a voice in the silence.
God’s Greatest Grace – a stranger you meet.
I have just returned from a visit to the Abbey of Gethsemane. It was only for 19 hours but the weather was perfect, the temperature in the 70s with a soft breeze, the moon was full, lighting the graveyard with a heavenly glow, and the four worship services I attended breathed the presence of God in the music and the Psalms, and there were special people who surrounded me during these hours. I felt awe and appreciation for the bells that signify God’s presence even if it is at 3:00 a.m.
I left the Abbey after breakfast to preach a funeral service for a friend of over four decades. The fog was slowly appearing in the distance over the Kentucky hills. Light was revealing a new days beginnings and I remembered how much I appreciate Kentucky’s beauty. With each new minute preceeding the sunrise were startling new revelations of God’s presence. It was a time of Lauds, of new beauty in a new day.
It was not an easy day, but a day of rememberance and thanksgiving for a good friend who had touched my life.
ON THE RETURN
On the return journey I continued with the questions. If each day is a search for God, where do we find him? What does doing God’s Will mean? What is he doing in my life that is worthwhile?
Often there are hints in the darkest hour of our existence. We sometimes miss the hints because of our own darkness within. The hint I had on the return journey was a reminder that a book in my library was titled, "A Monk in the World," by Wayne Teasdale. Bro. Wayne died to young, but his book becomes a example of the possibility of living a monk’s life in a world saturated with despairing cries and temptations of power and fame. To say, "Get thee behind me Satan" is not the easy prayer of the morning. It is a cry of hope, a cry of sacrifice, and a cry of wisdom.
The headline of A Monk in the World says, "This wonderful book helps us learn how to integrate the fundamental principles of contemplative spirituality into our modern lives," says Lama Surya Das.
So, that’s where I am today. A Beginning. A Hope. But realizing the impossibility of the task and the dangerous pride that confronts each of us on a spiritual journey.
The liturgical prayer for the morning comes from Psalm 63. "O God, earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you." (Psalm 63:1)
The journey begins. Stay tuned and in touch, Lets begin the journey together. AMEN.