A monk pointed out to me that the soul is like a garden. It must be watered, and attended to with some silence. In silence and solitude the garden will produce flowers and flourish. But while waiting for the flowers to grow, the weeds grow more immediately and quickly. Weeds are thoughts. They must be pulled out time and again while we wait for the slower growing flowers to bud forth to beautify our garden soul. Some mornings I wake up with many weeds and some mornings hardly any. Stuff happens while we sleep. My meditation methods are the weeding times. If no weeds, or thoughts to interrupt me, I do not need to methods to weed my soul. I just sit in silence and solitude for my meditation time. Hopefully, my blogs help in some way to encourage you in your soul-work.
Now I have a particular trouble with thoughts because I have an evil sister who is a witch. Witches never sleep. Their brooms are ever ready to travel into the interior world. While I sleep, Witch Maureen sows many weeds of thoughts into my garden soul. I often awake crazed with thoughts, anxieties, and fears. Why does Maureen do this? Well, besides being a witch, she is afraid that if I have an uninterrupted path to deep prayer, I will grow holy and go to heaven. She is jealous. She cannot go to heaven because she is a witch. One of my thoughts is that God loves even witches and hopes for their conversion. Now if Maureen stops messing with my soul, and becomes a good witch, she too will go to heaven. I don't want to go where she goes, so I am really glad when I wake up crazed because then I know she is still a bad witch and has no chance. I suffer thoughts that the witch might burn. Oh, I guess that is a bad thought!
Friday, March 24, 2017
God is like a coat check girl. I come in to the theatre and check my coat. She gives me a claim ticket. I go into the theatre of prayer, fasting, holy reading and meditation. When I am finished, I think I have had a fulfilling performance. I leave and go to claim my coat. The girl says, "I gave your coat away to someone who had no coat and was suffering." I am enraged. This is an injustice. "Now what am I supposed to do?" I shout. "Oh," said the coat check girl, "Did you not get the point in the theatre? You are supposed to trust in Me." God comes in various disguises, including a coat check girl. What good is all this ascetical practice, prayer and meditation, if I still come away with the idea of justice being all about me and "fairness," with no trust in the power of God? The spiritual life is more than performance. Prayer is just the beginning of letting go. We tend to wear our egos sown to our skin.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
How does a bear know that it is a bear and not something else? C. S Lewis says that is knows by interacting with friends who are people. The bear in this friendly atmosphere will then come to know it is a bear and not a person. So what? So what, is that we need to discuss religion, our beliefs or lack thereof with others who are friends but are not just like us, or else we will not know what we truly believe. We have to hear other ideas and argue points. In this way we come to a better understanding of what is wheat and what is chaff in our religious world. Too often believers and non-believers hunker down with people who they see as just like themselves. This is lazy thinking, maybe safe, but ultimately banal, and mediocre. Why do people say that they never want to talk about religion with those who disagree? Unpleasant? What might be unpleasant is the underpinnings of our system will be shown as lite, weak, and not likely to change us for the better. Sometimes people say that they are non-believers, atheists, believers in one religious path or another, because it is the easier and softer way. I like to read people and listen to people who challenge me. If I dismiss them too quickly, it is probably because fear has come up. A faith that is mediocre will be lived by a life that is mediocre. I prefer more depth and meaning, something worth dying for.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
We are each like an egg. C. S. Lewis helped me here. An egg is suppose to hatch in its proper time. If it does not hatch it rots. If it breaks before its time, such as Humpty Dumpty, it is broken. It cannot be fixed. Some of us, me for sure, was once a broken egg. I tried to hatch before my time. I was not ready but self-will and impatience took over. I rolled around thinking I was living life fully, when in fact I was simply rolling around. Eventually, I broke, not in a natural fashion where I would become all I was supposed to be, but in a fallen and unnatural way. This is the Fall. Oh, maybe the Bible is not so off track? I could not be put back together. A mess is still a mess even patched together. I needed to be remade. I could not do this, and that is a good thing. Left to my own devices, I was just going to be broken or a patched mess. The solution is a spiritual one, and in my case, it is God as I seem to have discovered. God took the best of me, my God-ness, and encircled me in a shell to incurbate. The shell is Love. There I waited, because self-will only ruins Love. Eventually, in God's time, my waiting in prayer, patience, trust and hope, I broke out of the shell of protective Love, and began to live, to be this Love in my own unique way. I start small, needing God, but trust that I will fly, even soar. When I stay God-connected I soar best. I am always becoming all God meant for me to be.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
I heard something that pertains to me. Say what you mean but don't say it meanly. Too often I say exactly what I mean, and I say it in a snarly way that puts people down, makes fun of them, and is about my ego advancement. In fact, silence would have been better than the manner in which I said something. The words we use are only part of the message. This is why I have to work so hard on being even keeled. Keep a balance in my life. If I feel rushed, tired, fearful, anxious or resentful, then I will say "whatever" with an attitude. The meaning will be buried beneath the meanness.
Monday, March 20, 2017
I like this one. There are twelve hours on a clock. No one can skip an hour. You cannot say you'll do something at 10 but skip 11 and just go to 12. Even if you sleep, or sit staring at a wall, you go through hour 11. A really useful and full life is to have something positive for each hour, such as 7+ hours of bed rest at night, or a nap in the afternoon. Where is this all going? It goes to recovery programs in which there are 12 steps. You cannot skip a step or jump around. They are sequential for a reason, just like a clock. You skip or ignore steps at your own peril. I have found it so. Addicts beware! and for the rest of you, what are you going to do for yourself that benefits a world larger than yourself after you finish reading this blog? Deleting me is not a benefit.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
In my church today is the feast day of St. Joseph. He is the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I like St. Joseph. He is needed by Jesus and Mary, but Joseph does not call attention to himself nor make a big deal about himself. Also, he is at times clueless as to what is going on. But he sleeps well anyway because he has dreams and remembers them. So he get good REM sleep. His life has problems, questions, difficulties, but he does not take them to bed with him. All this I like. I want to be needed and on days when few read my blog I wonder. But I try not to be self-important. Joseph is the model. He did not need to be the center of attention. Play you role in life, when you find it, and you will be comfortable in your own skin. Then, it is OK not to know what is going on all the time. You don't have to compensate by being a helicopter dad or priest or parent or lover. I figure if I am supposed to know, I will be told somehow. With all this, I will sleep better. Plus, now I have a CPAP machine.