Well, its been a semi rough patch here in the old house. We have just about survived a tumultuous renonvation (three months) and my sons are down to only one weekend visit per month... from their previous usual two or more. I can still recall the days of being a more or less full time dad, 3 weeknights and every other weekend. Seems like yesterday.
At the same time I am feeling that creeping loneliness of being somewhat single as well as single minded. I have my work, which I love and my church activities which give me a lot of deep joy and my formation as a worldly monastic, or an oblate, or a third order, whatever you choose to call it.
But deep inside there is a growing longing to be alone with God, even as that same longing produces a very tangible loneliness. Yes, I know that God is my All and that I can and do turn to Him many times every day.
But lately I've begun to suspect that there is some unsuspected, hidden connection between my interior life and the capacity to love another or many others as Christ loves us.
Now my spiritual director has me reading some of Hans Urs von Balthasar, and this Catholic systematician seems to have a communitarian and mystical streak in him a mile wide and just as deep. I discovered that he helped a German woman found a secular institute, a group for people who want to live the consecrated life of poverty, chastity and obedience, while also staying "in the world."
I've often doubted whether that could truly be done, but I am interested enough to find out just what happened to this group. But first, I've told myself, I'll read an introduction to Balthasar and his book on the Christian State of Life. Only then can I truly appreciate the historical circumstances that led Balthasar et al to form this community. Then, perhaps I might also find some help for my own journey, as solo as that has been thus far.