One of my first and most faithful readers has been Dylan Thomas DeFreitas. Dylan is a poet and has several blogs of his own, including Dark Speech Upon the Harp that you might want to check out.
For my birthday he sent me a lovely green hardcover copy of a book by Catherine de Hueck Doherty--mystic, lover of the poor, contemplative hermit, founder of Madonna House, a training center for the lay apostolate--called I Live On An Island. [Note: Now available under the title Welcome Pilgrim, through Madonna House Publications].
Here are a couple of excerpts:
It is a strange mediation that comes to me as I look at this beauty beyond description, the beauty of autumn in a northern land. And as I look I ask myself the question: Is this the time of God's visitation? Has he taken up once more the cords of his just anger? Is he again cleansing the temple of all those who, in some way, are desecrating it?
Who could these people be? Are they the ones whose faces are still filled with racial hatred? Are they the violent, the warmongers, the traders in arms? No. These latter are the "cold" spoken of in the book of Revelation. We know God's attitude toward them.
Who are they? Not those who hunger and thirst for justice, those who have arisen on a pilgrimage of love. Nor those who desire with a great desire to live the gospel with their lives. These are the "hot ones" of the Revelation.
Suddenly the answer comes to me: it is the lukewarm the Lord is driving from his temple, the tepid whom he "vomits out of his mouth." They are people who are content with the letter of the law. They are those who never try to find the spirit behind the letter. They are the ones who are afraid to do so, the ones who prefer to live and teach a watered-down Christianity. They are the ones who have created unto themselves a Christ who has no resemblance to the Christ of the gospel. Yes, they are the tepid ones!
It comes to me during my meditation today that this might indeed be the time of God's vomiting the tepid out of his mouth. He desires, at long last, that his face be shown by those who hunger for justice, who pilgrim with passionate desire not only to find him but to give him to others. These, the "hot ones," will then be able to show the face of Christ to the "cold ones."
The river is quiet, reflecting the hues of the trees. The evergreens stand as an unchanging backdrop to these trees which sing to the glory of God with their variety of colors.
|hydrangeas in my friend Judy's garden|
My heart is filled with gratitude to God that at long last I am able to taste the solitude, to know the stillness, to be able to pray within it for the whole world, but especially for the Church, for the priests I love so much, for the young people. I am grateful that I will be able to put into practice that proverb of my people: "The house of a true hermit has no latch on the door."
Why? Because no one prays for himself, not even a hermit. He exists for others. Whatever his prayers and mortifications, he must give them away, even as he must share the humble food that is his with any visitor who comes. He does not belong to himself. He belongs to everyone, and so he must not only share his food, but his thoughts, the graces that God gives to him, and above all himself. Yes, I am grateful to God for my solitude whereby I can give myself to the whole world.
I just realized yesterday that I've been sharing my "food," my thoughts, the graces God has given me, such as they are, for a year as of August 6th on this blog. It's been an incredible labor, an incredible gift, and an incredible learning experience. I hope it's been one or two of those things for you.
Thank you for walking with me!
|some of Judy's hydrangeas in my cell I mean my room|