Welcome fellow seekers and pilgrims...

Like the pilgrams that sought out the early desert Abbas and Ammas for a "word" my hope and prayer is that a word can be found by you at this site as you journey on your path seeking God . It will not be one from my lips as all I have been capable of saying is that I honestly don't believe that I have any words of wisdom to pass on and maybe there are way too many "words" being expressed out there already. But I am being once again nagged terribly by that inner voice within my heart of hearts and so I must write. May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart, win favor in your sight, O Lord, my rescuer, my rock! (Psalm 19:15)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

So How Do We Know What We Really Need?

   O.K.  You say to yourself (as I continue to tell myself  because it is a reoccurring theme in my discernment process) it's time to simplify and what do I really need in my life to be able to listen and be at peace.     Columba Stewart OSB has some thoughts that might help in getting on the right track. He has brought forward a very good thought to consider in the quest to simplify ones life. The question to consider is as follows:
   "Does 'need' mean bare necessity, or what is needed for me to grow and to flourish?...For us to discern genuine need and avoid misuse of things or of people, we have to learn how to confront our desires, which are many and often quite subtle, and then to surrender those which prevent us from loving God and neighbor.  Desire in itself is good: it makes us get up and set about the search for God, fueling the ascetical work of learning how to love.  But we have an incredible knack for desiring the wrong things, or getting hung up in little desires while the great ones go unsatisfied.  Confronting all of our desires, small and great, sick and healthy, is the only way to know what our needs truly are. Only then can  our cravings become the basis of compassion toward ourselves and others."
   I try to remember this as I travel on my faith journey. The journey is far easier to travel without alot of excess baggage, mentally, physically and spiritually.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Way of Simplicity

When we realize that the world is spinning too fast and what we have hasn't really satisfied that hollowness within and no matter of how much we try to fill it the emptiness remains, it's time to simplify. In this case less is greater than more and that includes the little things.
Let me share some wise words that were given to John Cassian centuries ago by the desert father Abba Moses. They are as valid today as then.
"We see many who have given up very great wealth not only in terms of money but in land as well - and still they get very upset over a knife, a scraper, a needle, a pan. If they had kept their gaze unwaveringly on the goal of purity of heart they would never have got wrapped up in such trifling things and indeed would reject them in the same way that they have rejected lands and wealth. There are some people who guard a book so jealously that they can hardly bear to have anyone else touch it. Far from leading them to the prize of love and gentleness, this sort of thing becomes for them an occasion for impatience, even sometimes to the point of death. Out of love for Christ they have given away all their great possessions, and yet they cling to their old passion for things that have no importance, and even give way to anger because of such things ... One does not become perfect just by stripping naked, by being poor and despising honours, unless ... love  ... is there, a love which is found only in the pure of heart."
The foundation of all our actions or attempts at action is love, a sharing of the love God has for each of us with one another.  This love becomes both unifying and simplifying  filling the emptiness within us in a never ending stream that is poured out upon all we meet.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Did I Say Ordinary in Suburbia?

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will recount all your wonders. I will rejoice in you and be glad, and sing psalms to your name, O Most High. (psalm 9:1-3).
This morning I awoke at sunrise to a symphony of the Lord's creation. Birds chirping,the call of a visiting little dog needing out of his carrier, desiring to go outside, the mewing of Miss Me Me wanting her blinds opened to her window perch so that she too could enjoy the birds. The air had a hint of moisture in it producing the fragrance of moist dirt, as if it had rained. The neighboring roosters and goats added their voices... Yep, that's another thing about this high desert surburbia it's on the rural side and livestock is allowed. So it's not unusual to see horses, free-range chickens, ducks, goats, sheep or other creatures in your neighbors yard. Not to forget the wild critters who also roam the area: feral cats, foxes, bobcats,rabbits,quail, roadrunners and we can't leave out the scorpions, spiders, lizards and of course the Mohave Green. Whats a Mohave Green you ask? It's a very deadly kind of rattle snake. All God's creatures great or small.
I wanted to share this thought by another monk living in community. It's a good thought for all of us religious or layperson. "...An authentic contemplative life does not consist in withdrawing from reality to live in an artificial or purely spiritual world. It consists in withdrawing to the center, to the heart of all reality. A healthy community life helps us to evaluate with serenity the varied information that we receive, the different events through which we live."

Armand Veilleux OCSO