Resources and prayers for your Lenten journey.
I made a private retreat at a monastery a couple of months ago and am still looking to make sense of monastic life, trying to understand why intensely spiritual men feel they are serving God by living their lives in a remote monastery far removed from 21st. Century life.
I will be honest. On the one hand, their life style comes across to me as, well, weird. It doesn't compute that these men should isolate themselves from the world in which we live and immerse themselves in prayer, not for a few days or weeks but for a lifetime.
Is that an intelligent way to spend that "one wild and precious life" they have been given? Are they not escaping from life rather than getting down and dirty like the rest of us, trying to make a better world for us and for our children? How about feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless and visiting the sick? Man,(I think to myself) can't they at least buy some girl scout cookies?
Seek First the Kingdom
We are disciples on a journey of hope. We seek the Kingdom - and along the way, we often stumble and sometimes we wander off along the wrong paths, only to be brought back onto track by His gentle tug on our shirtsleeves... and most of the time, we're kicking and screaming and complaining that we should going in the "other direction." It is a journey of growth, and of learning - learning that being Christian, being Catholic, is not just something we do, it's what we are; learning that the Eucharist is not just something we participate in each week, but rather that which we must always strive to become.
Things fall apart
Chris McDonnell CT Friday 17th 2017.
One of W B Yeats’ most celebrated poems, ‘The Second Coming’, has these lines in the opening stanza:
‘…Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.’
It was written in 1919, in the aftermath of the Great War, when the privation and suffering of that conflict were still vividly fresh in the life experience of countless millions of people across the torn continent of Europe.
There is something of unremitting despair in that first line, the dissolving of certainty, the break-up of once cherished options where the furniture of lives, once secure, has been shattered by circumstance.
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