Sunday, January 31, 2010

Internet Monk


January 26, 2010 by iMonk

Just a few notes for those of you who read every day.

1. I am having a port surgically inserted Thursday. Chemo begins the following week. My side effects on 10 radiation treatments were average, if not less. I have no idea what this will mean.

2. My appetite is at an all time low, but I am doing OK. I need chicken soups. After that, ??

3. Depression is a very real adversary. I am God’s servant at this time and for this calling. Pray for me that I keep my eyes on the daily task and leave the results to God.

4 Thank you to all of you who have contributed in various ways. Your generosity has been a great encouragement. My job has been removed, but I have a place to stay as long as Denise is here. My insurance will run out in late February and we are working with our options for the next period of time. That is where your contribution makes a big difference.

To give support, use paypal or write

5.Keep me in your prayers. I am sleeping a lot as I try to regain my balance- a very slow process.

6. I’m a pretty poor visit, but I appreciate knowing you remember me. Pray for God’s grace, God’s strength and Gods will.

Michael Spencer


What a lovely ending to our rare snowstorm.


Footsteps in the snow.


Evening in winter.

Fwd: Thomas Merton's birthday

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Jim Forest" <>
Date: Jan 31, 2010 2:00 PM
Subject: Thomas Merton&apos;s birthday
To: "OPF List" <>

January 31, 2010

It's the birthday of Thomas Merton, born in Prades, France in 1915. Merton was a Trappist monk, but he was also the author of more than 50 books, 2,000 poems, and a personal diary that spanned much of his lifetime.

Merton decided to write his master's thesis on William Blake and found himself deeply influenced by Blake. He converted to Christianity and, in 1941, entered a Trappist abbey in Kentucky where he remained for the rest of his life.

In a diary entry written before becoming a monk, Merton wrote, "Going to the Trappists is exciting. I return to the idea again and again: 'Give up everything, give up everything!'"

Merton became well-known throughout the world, in part because of his writing, in particular his autobiography The Seven Story Mountain (1948).

Writer's Almanac
Garrison Keillor, editor

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Take a look at this picture!

What excitement. Love the snow. Let it snow.

Snowy day

Sure loving the snow. Now ice. Went sledding several times. Beautiful day. It rarely snows here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thoughts in the Meditation Room

I consider miracles. I characterize some I visit in that way. I have prayed by their bedside, quoted scripture, held their hand, and even kissed their forehead to let them know someone cared.

Some were alone and afraid. In this room are some roses, a few bibles, quotes by religious authors.....a cross standing above a large Bible. A prayer notebook where people write their fears and hopes and sometimes their confessions. I say a silence prayer when I read the requests.

What does the Lord require of you? Mercy is our prayer, being faithful in full surrender, a prayerful spirit, and a grace born of humility. Micah 6:8.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fwd: Spirituality… a life changing option

From a Thomas's Merton Fan

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Jim Forest" <>
Date: Jan 21, 2010 4:42 AM
Subject: Spirituality… a life changing option
To: "Jim Forest" <>

Dear Merton-friends,

This comes from Judith Hardcastle, program director of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and minister at St. Andrew's United Church & Centre for Peace in Golden, British Columbia. It was published in the newspaper (The Golden Star) of the mountain town where she lives.


* * *

Golden Star (British Columbia) / January 19, 2010 1:00 PM

Spirituality… a life changing option

by Judith Hardcastle

The quest for meaning and purpose is central to our existence. This search for meaning launches us on a journey in which all aspects of life—joys, sorrows, struggles and successes—can become avenues to deeper understanding and purpose. Everything we experience along the journey plays a part in forming and fashioning our lives. It is within these experiences that we discover the key to becoming all that we were meant to be.

None of us walks alone on this journey that we call a spiritual life. In undertaking it, we come to know who we are and what we are to become precisely by knowing, loving, and being with others. Community, in whatever form it is lived, is a place of healing and growth. It provides needed security and love but is also a challenging place. As we live closely with people daily, we confront our wounded emotions, our limitations and need for healing.

Another aspect of spirituality is the belief that there is a level of reality that exceeds the limits of human existence, that there is more to us and to life than we first perceive. Some people refer to the transcendent as Mystery or as the Other or as God. There are countless names for the transcendent. Spirituality involves the quest to be in relationship with this Mystery.

Spirituality always involves a process of becoming. Our relationship with the transcendent initiates a process of growth in our lives and calls for an ongoing response and commitment to live whatever is encountered on our particular journey. Inevitably, spirituality calls us out of a preoccupation with ourselves and toward love and compassion for others and the world.

There is a difference between spirituality and religion. Spirituality is the whole life of a person lived in relationship with the transcendent. A person's individual spirituality may or may not incorporate the rituals, practices, and beliefs of a particular religious group. However, for billions of people throughout the world, institutionalized religion provides the setting in which personal spirituality is expressed and developed.

Spirituality—however you choose to live it on your journey—is a life changing option.

It is what being human is all about!

* * *

Jim & Nancy Forest
Kanisstraat 5
1811 GJ Alkmaar
The Netherlands

intl code+31-72-515-4180

Jim & Nancy site:
In Communion site:
Forest-Flier Editorial Services:

revised, expanded edition of "Living With Wisdom: a biography of Thomas Merton":
revised, expanded, all-color edition of "Praying With Icons":
"The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life":
"Silent as a Stone," a children's book about a community of rescuers in Paris:


On Pilgrimage:

A Tale of Two Kidneys:

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Monday, January 11, 2010


What is the target? Your purpose? Who are we trying to please and why? That when the dying are ending their journey is that there is someone beside them to say goodbye. That those who are lost might have someone to hold their hand. That those without purpose might have someone near who can show them the light.

In extraordinary times the last view is always a glance at the eyes. The journey has many turns. One must surrender to the journey and wait.

Vision is easily lost and replaced by the do as I say rule of others. A true visionary sees something else, an awareness beyond knowing, a distant dream, a distant hope. Our reruns are our destruction. Without understanding we wade backwards and find ourself drowning. We must always be looking in the distance for the new route. A way beyond understanding. In the distance.......