Sunday, January 5, 2014

Another Look

The Cloistered Heart is a way of seeing, a way of being, a way of living totally for God in the midst of the world.  

"The heart,” says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “is the dwelling place where I am, where I live... the heart is the place 'to which I withdraw.'  The heart is our hidden center,  beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. (Catechism  #2563)

With this in mind, let's have a quick review. 

The Monastery of a Cloistered Heart is the person’s own life.  A monastery is a place consecrated to God, a place of prayer, a place where God is loved and lived for and served.  Our lives can, and should, become every one of these.

The Enclosure of a Cloistered Heart is within the will of God.  As a cloistered nun or monk lives within a specific area known as the cloister, we can make a specific choice to live within the will of God.  We can actively embrace the boundaries of God’s will as these are revealed in Scripture and Church teaching.

The Grille of a Cloistered Heart is the will of God.  As some monasteries have grillwork through which those in the cloister interact with the world outside, we can have spiritual “grillwork.”  We can practice seeing and responding to every person and every situation through God's will as revealed to us in Scripture and the teachings of the Church.  

“Always remember," wrote St. Francis de Sales, "to retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others.  This mental solitude cannot be violated by the many people who surround you since they are not standing around your heart but only around your body.  Your heart remains alone in the presence of God.” 

The Cloistered Heart (we've said it before) is a multi-faceted analogy.  

Perhaps it's time to have another look.


Painting:  Piero di Cosimo, Maddalena