Thursday, February 9, 2012
February 9 – Never Leaving
In a very real sense, the monastery is a place where the lovesick can feel right at home!
The Shunnamite in the Song of Solomon wrote, “He brought me to His banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Sustain me with raisin cakes, and refresh me with apples, because I am lovesick.” (Song of Solomon 2:4,5)
The true monastic can’t get enough of Jesus, and to him or her, that means a life of unending relationship through worship, intercession, solitude, Lectio Divina (an interactive study of the Word of God, with prayer,) and meditative focus during work and recreation and even during meals. The idea is never to leave him alone for a moment and never to spend a moment of life without Him.
Most husbands, let’s be honest, would find that kind of love somewhat suffocating. Jesus doesn’t! “Seek with your whole heart,” He tells us! “Abide in me . . . and I in you!” The monastery is for those who have that kind of love to give; perhaps we should say that the monastery is for those who would like to give that kind of love. None can, at first, and few would say they have mastered “nearness” even after decades of enclosure, but that is the goal.
Almost certainly, there are some in society today who have been labeled “needy,” who are, in fact, only monastic. They just have not learned where to direct their keen desire to love and be loved.
Tomorrow we will look at one of the orders that have chosen an almost absolute solitude, to see what we can learn. While absolute solitude is not for us, yet we bring ourselves into the Lord’s Presence and practice never leaving, no matter where we go or what we must do, here in Cor Unum, the monastery of the heart.