Monday, May 18, 2009

Saturday Vigils

The day begins in the middle of the night if you follow the monastic schedule. At home I wouldn't even consider getting out of bed at this hour unless the house was on fire. When I am at the monastery I actually enjoy it. Admittedly, 3:00 AM is 3:00 AM no matter where you are. It just isn't natural to get out of bed at this hour. Sitting here, lost in the moment, however, seems so perfect. It is now 4:20 AM. Outside the darkness covers all the surrounding fields and woods. The wind occasionally howls and the gusts have blown away yesterday's humidity. At some point yesterday, in one of my quiet and restful moments, I had an imaginary conversation with God in my head...or was it real? In the conversation God said, "You thought by leaving the monastery you were getting off the hook, didn't you? You now think 30+ years of marriage, two grown children, a daughter in law, a beautiful granddaughter, your job and all the other demands and expectations of the world relieve you of what I expect, don't you? Michael, my son, you are wrong. By the way, I'm taking one of you sons because I need a priest. I still call you to myself and nothing and no one but me will completely satisfy you". I had no response. How can I argue with God? Sometimes I get angry with God but I can never win an argument.

Being in this Now moment and being in this place I think of yesterday's conversation...or was it a lecture from God? Whatever it was reawakens within me the deep realization that I don't always have my priorities straight or realistic expectations about many things. My entire life, in good times and bad times, stumbling along the spiritual path, when I am awake or when I am asleep, aware or unaware, consciously or unconsciously, I have been trying to follow the sound of God's voice calling me. I know, even when I do not want to believe it, that nothing and no one will fill my emptiness except God.

As if to say, "Yes, Michael, I think you finally get it", a clap of thunder followed my epiphany.

Richard Rohr, OFM, in his book entitled "Everything Belongs" says the following.

The contemplative secret is to learn to live in the now. The now is not as empty as it might appear to be or that we fear it may be.

Try to realize that everything is right here, right now. When we’re doing life right, it means nothing more than it is right now, because God is in this moment in a non-blaming way.

When we are able to experience that, taste it and enjoy it, we don’t need to hold on to it. The next moment will have its own taste and enjoyment.

From Everything Belongs, pp. 60, 61

1 comment:

Steve T. said...

Good heavens, I think he's got it!