Monday, April 30, 2007

Gone to God via the Cistercians

Lo, in the midst of a very busy week at work I am off to Sparta for a retreat with my Cistercian brothers at Our Lady of Spring Bank Abbey near Sparta, WI. I may or may not be able/ willing to blog during this time. So, I leave you with some very meaningful words from another Cistercian, Michael Casey, from his book Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer.

Prayer, then, is entering the unseen reality of our lives. It is allowing ourselves to experience the mystery in which we are. Suffering is a door in the wall that daily routines erect around our hearts. Passing through it we begin to understand something of the dark side of human experience, something profound, something a little frightening because it is so large, yet something immensely tender and gentle too.

In bringing us to the reality of our life, prayer also introduces us to the reality of god's life. We are put in touch with the persons of the Holy Trinity, not through words but at a deeper level. We feel that we are from the Father and that our whole life is a journey toward God.

We discover a sense of solidarity with the Word, in our being bonded with the person of Jesus and in our union with all the saints. We experience the presence of the Holy Spirit, inciting us to good, turning our thoughts to God, directing our actions, supplying for our weakness and, like a homing beacon for an incoming plane, guiding our steps toward the very heart of God.

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