This morning, during our Sunday liturgy, I thought of you -- this brave and honest community of seekers who have travelled together this Easter week.
The reading from the Acts of the Apostles read, "Those who welcomed the message of Peter were baptized and many were added to the community. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the communal life, to the breaking of bread and prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because the apostles were doing many wonders and signs."
I thought of our sharing this week -- as you broke the bread of your lives and your individual journeys with one another; as you embraced the idea of this unique movement toward communal life and as you took the first tentative steps toward your own monastery of the heart. And awe is exactly what you each inspire in me .. thank you.
As we move on to chapter one of The Monastery of the Heart, I would like to share just one excerpt from the chapter. I encourage you to read the entire chapter, of course, as you go but I thought our own discussion of the ideas might be more focused if we worked with a section at a time.
So consider the following and ask yourself, sharing as you are able, What does this mean to me right now? How does it enrich my own monastery of the heart?
"The Prologue to Benedict's Rule
demands of us
that we 'Listen.'
Listen to everything
Because everything in life is important.
Listen with the heart:
with feeling for the other,
with feeling for the Word,
with feeling for the God
who feels for us.
Listen to the Word of God,
the Rule says,
'and faithfully put it into practice.'
Most of all
know that to seek God
is to find God.
In this Monastery of the Heart--
in the riches of the tradition it offers
and the treasure to which it leads,
in company with others who are seeking, too--
find a loving spiritual guide
to encourage your journey,
to refresh your faith
when life is dry and dark,
when the days are long and draining,
when you are inclined to forget
that God is with us
for the taking.
Most of all, every day
start over again.
life is for coming to see,
one day at a time,
what life and God
are really all about.
Life grows us more and more--
but only if we wrestle daily
with its ever daily meaning for us.
God is calling us to more
and God is waiting
to bring us to it.
'Listen,' the Rule says.
'If you hear God’s voice today,
do not harden your hearts.' "
So let us hear from you ...
Blessings -- on the way with you -- Mary Ellen