Monday, March 31, 2008

The Contemplative Life

Two weeks later, I am still thinking a lot about my time at the monastery. A trip to the Washington National Cathedral this weekend brought forth this deep thirst for the holy again as I perused the bookshelves in the store, looking through books about this holy longing. I then visited the Botanical gardens where the orchids - all kinds of orchids - brought forth reminders of the gift of new life that is emerging all around us.

I could not help but to praise God.

I long for the contemplative life.

I long for more time with God.

In my quest for the holy, I opened a book this morning that I purchased at the abbey's bookstore, "Bridges to Contemplative Living: with Thomas Merton: Two: Becoming Who You Already Are." The book is designed to be used in a small group study, and I can imagine the power of its words in such a place. For now, I am journeying through it on my own.

The book includes words from a Psalmist, words from Merton, and words from another source. Today's "another voice" is Anthony DeMello who writes:

I imagine that today I am to die. I ask for time to be alone and write down for my friends a sort of testament for which the points that follow could serve as chapter titles.

DeMello then provides the following outline-

1. These things I have loved in life (things I tasted, looked at, smelled, heard, touched):
2. These experiences I have cherished:
3. These ideas have brought me liberation:
4. These beliefs I have outgrown:
5. These convictions I have lived by:
6. These are the things I have lived for:
7. These insights I have gained in the school of life:
8. These risks I took, there dangers I have courted:
9. These sufferings have seasoned me:
10. These lessons life has taught me:
11. These influences have shaped my life (persons, occupations, books, events):
12. These scripture texts have lit my path:
13. These things I regret about my life:
14. These are my life's achievements:
15. These persons are enshrined within my heart:
16. These are my unfulfilled desires:

I am going to start writing my responses. Perhaps I'll share a few.

What are your responses?


Anonymous said...

I am going to think about my responses and post them by the end of this week. :-)

Jill said...

#11 - YOU!! You are such a blessing, and always have been. I cannot wait to see you next weekend and celebrate this joyous time with you.
I love you!!!

Jill said...

#11 - YOU!! You are such a blessing in my life and always have been!
I cannot wait to see you next weekend and celebrate this joyous time with you!
I love you!