Friday, May 13, 2011

RETREATING IN DAYTON



I am safely ensconced in my very nice room at the Marianist novitiate house at Mt. St. John's in Dayton, Ohio.

Raccoons, skunks, squirrels, a coyote or two, wild geese, rabbits. Cardinals, red-winged blackbirds. Savannah and prarie. Dogwoods, spirea, peonies, snowdrops, tulips, iris: creamy white, claret.

Brother Don told many fascinating stories about birds’ nests. He once, at great personal peril, fetched down the abandoned nest of a Baltimore oriole to find, woven among the dun-colored moss, plant fibers, and twigs, a single blue thread. Hummingbirds make their nests of feathers, plant fibers, and spider silk, then often encrust the entire outside with bits of lichen. And the cardinal always starts the nest with a leaf in the bottom—and if a leaf can’t be found, they’ll substitute a piece of cellophane from a cigarette pack.

SOME EXCERPTS FROM BOOKS I'M READING:

Poverty is the quality of heart which makes us relate to life, not as property to be defended but as a gift to be shared. Poverty is the constant willingness to say good-by to yesterday and move forward to new, unknown experiences. Poverty is the inner understanding that the hours, days, weeks, and years do not belong to us but are the gentle reminders of our call to give, not only love and work, but life itself, to those who follow us and will take our place. He or she who cares is invited to be poor, to strip himself or herself from the illusions of ownership and to create some room for the person looking for a place to rest. The paradox of care is that poverty makes a good host. When our hands, heads and hearts are filled with worries, concerns, and preoccupations, there can hardly be any place left for the stranger to feel at home.
--Henri Nouwen, Aging: The Fulfillment of Life

We know nothing, or practically nothing, about our eternal destiny, and we cling so tenaciously to what we believe is for our good. Affluent and overfed ourselves, we think that the only evil in the world is hunger; because we get upset by pain and privation, we think that the only problem to be resolved is that of providing bread and better hygienic conditions for the Third World. Of course there are serious problems for which solutions must be found, but what we fail to recognize is the far greater wretchedness of some rich people who die of boredom and drugs in comfortable bourgeois houses, and who stifle their personalities from beneath their accumulated wealth and self-centeredness.
--Carlo Carretto, In Search of the Beyond

“Léon Bloy…once said that if we receive the Eucharist and fail to practice charity, fail to allow the Eucharist to have in us the effects that by its very nature it must have, then ‘the sacred Host we have consumed, rather than nourishing us, will become within us like a bomb exploding our hypocrisy to high heaven.’” 

I can never forget…the reply given by a Carthusian as to why he had embraced his peculiarly radical form of Christian existence. His answer was as jolting as it was utterly simple: “Someone has to thank God for the flowers!” 

--both from Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Love’s Sacred Order: The Four Loves Revisited 







4 comments:

  1. I'm always envious of other people's bridal veil spirea.

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  2. I wish I had the courage to have time away for a retreat. I missed an opportunity for a 5 day retreat during Lent. I should make a choice next time instead of allowing myself to be overcrowded by the work that I do and thinking I can fix everything by exerting effort 200%.

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  3. 'A SINGLE TEAR SHED IN MEMORY OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST OUT BALANCES A PILGRIMAGE TO JERUSALEM, OR A YEAR'S FAST ON BREAD AND WATER..'
    ST. AUGUSTINE

    who knew?
    rose xx

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  4. Living in this place, I see this beauty everyday.

    When you see something beautiful everyday, you still know that it's beautiful; but you see it everyday, so perhaps you forget to notice...

    Looking at your pictures tonight I was struck at the vast beauty of the creation around me. Seeing it through your eyes was like seeing it again for the very first time. Captivating, Breath-taking, Magical, Worthy of Praise - like our Father who created it.

    Thank you for reawakening for me the beauty of God's creation that I am surrounded by each day.

    ~Andrew

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I WELCOME your comments!!!