Monday, April 3, 2017

March Year of Faiths Review

What a WILD month March has been in my immersion into monasticism. I survived tornado warnings and hail stones and dined with the Little Brothers and Sisters of the Lamb in Kansas City...
... read through one of my now-favorite books, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin, SJ, who it turns out was inspired by Thomas Merton to become a monk - fitting, as I also visited Merton's hermitage this month in Kentucky, and interviewed Br. Paul Quenon (podcast to come)...
We also attended the fish fry each week at our local Catholic parish. I hardly felt penitent - what a feast!

A few nuggets of wisdom, to sum up my focus on monasticism:
1) The importance of desire in spiritual discernment
2) The very practical, Ignatian exercises - their use in making decisions
3) We need not focus on some grand purpose for our lives - God is most pleased when we walk in obedience to the Spirit, one small step at a time
4) Merton, like St John of the Cross who so inspired him, struggled terribly - there is room for struggle/challenging authority/rebellion in the spiritual life; indeed, it is to be expected!
5) The Little Brothers and Sisters of the Lamb were the most joyous souls I've ever met - begging for all their needs has taught them a rare TRUST in God (my word of this year). 

So grateful for these experiences and my gracious hosts along the way!