Progressive Christian Reflections by Chris Glaser: My Monastery

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Progressive Christian Reflections by Chris Glaser: My Monastery


My Monastery

A latest selfie!

The day I write this, I
realized throughout my morning prayers that they’re my entrance to “my”
monastic group. I put “my” in quotes as a result of the group during which I’ve
been blessed to take part has by no means been mine alone, however that of generations
of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Native peoples, Celtic
peoples, and extra—previous, current, and future, from each folks and tradition.
And,
in my coronary heart, I be a part of you who learn this or who’ve learn something I’ve written,
since you are part of me as I’m part of you. And also you too get pleasure from the identical
contemplative group each time potential.
I
guess this all started yesterday afternoon as I went via “Mother’s field” of my
life’s souvenirs. Mother saved issues that I had forgotten I had written and
printed, in addition to articles about my work and bulletins about
shows I had forgotten. And he or she included a file of my stuff labelled
“Chris” in Dad’s handwriting, indicating he had completed likewise.
Studying
and writing phrases has been my approach right into a non secular group vaster than I ever
imagined once I was a toddler. And it has been my approach into discovering a God
grander than might ever be “captured” by mere phrases, even these of the Bible.
As
occurred this morning, my morning prayers are sometimes a method of continuous
conversion and extra complete understanding, offering continuity to my
(and our) disparate experiences. I proceed reflection begun a number of weeks in the past
on Benedictine John Essential’s Letters from the Coronary heart. He writes of the monastic
expertise:
An increasing number of it should fulfill its prophetic function
by residing within the cities the place the expertise of group and of spirit are all
however misplaced. There, in these fashionable deserts, it should bloom by the proof of the
energy of religion and absolute generosity to attain the inconceivable in liberty of
spirit. “Let the wilderness and thirsty land be glad; Let the desert rejoice
and burst into flower” (Isaiah 35:1). [ p 75]
I
considered the Desert Fathers and Moms, the early Christian monastics who
went off into the wilderness to wish. Now we, in our personal “deserts,” could hear
the decision to take what I name in my retreats “monastic moments,” alternatives
to look inward, to hearken to our personal hearts, undistracted.
Of
guests to his monastery, Essential writes,
They suppose they may discover God within the phrases they
have imagined till then. However as a substitute they first discover themselves—acknowledged,
recognized, and inexplicably cherished. And due to that have their
expectations start to alter. They now not search a God of their very own imagining.
As a substitute, they start to broaden within the presence of the God they know to be past
thought or picture. [p 72]
And,
he provides, “They now understand that God is looking for them. They need to merely be
nonetheless and permit themselves to be discovered.” [p 72-73]
We
are referred to as, Essential says, to form a group the place others can also discover their
approach, on the identical time recognizing it isn’t “ours” however God’s. He appropriately
cites Bonhoeffer’s warning that an idealistic view of group leads solely to
disappointment, both in God, in others, or in oneself. The Rule of Saint
Benedict describes the essence of Christian group as loving folks as they
are.

I’ll once more be co-leading
a 5-day contemplative retreat April 27-Might 1, 2020 in Cullman, Alabama, via
the Non secular Formation Program of Columbia Theological Seminary. It’s open to
the general public.
Scroll right down to the donate hyperlink under its description. Thanks!
Copyright © 2019 by Chris
R. Glaser. Permission granted for non-profit use with attribution of creator and
blogsite. Different rights reserved.

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