Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6 - Imaginization

Let’s put our monastic imaginations to work once again. Imagine for a moment that you are spending the day . . . or the rest of your life! . . . cloistered with the nuns in Regina Laudis Abbey, or with the Carthusian monks who have their monastery high in the Swiss alps (might as well imagine scenically!) . . . and think for awhile what it would be like to have your days and nights so ordered, but so filled with the pursuit of God! What would it be like, really?

There is a monastic romance to the idea for many women, and not a few men long for more solitude than life will ever afford, but we seldom consider what monastics tell us about the most difficult parts: the interrupted sleep, the unending ordeal of crucifying natural desires for self-reference and self-promotion, and the battles that arise with doubts when such a particular vocation is chosen.

What will ever prove that the right choice has been made? Each enters the monastery with talents and abilities that could certainly be put to use in the world outside. A good monastery makes use of the best of each postulant, novice and professed monastic within their gifting, but some abilities do perish on the vine. On the other hand, other strengths are developed and brought into the high service of worship and prayer. What would our strengths be? What will we discover as we journey on in this monastic endeavor?

At first we will discover our weaknesses: some will find they are more adept at making excuses than ever they suspected, and some will discover that, for all their desire to know and love God, there are things they seem to love better! In Cor Unum, as in any monastery, it doesn’t really matter what weaknesses are uncovered, it matters that we remain, and keep our small commitments until we find we are able to keep the large one, that of becoming fervent and consistent monastics, praying until the answer comes, worshiping until we have touched the Lord’s pleasure, worshiping with our voices and worshiping with our lives, abiding in Christ, His Word abiding in us. He established this interior monasticism, and we prove it here in Cor Unum.

Imagine today, and cross the threshold into the monastery of the heart.

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