Monday, February 3, 2014

My Vast Dwelling

"The novice promises not just to obey orders but to 'live IN obedience.'  The phrase has a splendid ring to it, as though she were throwing up imposing castle walls around her whole life.  And that is precisely what she does.  She makes her whole future existence a kind of vast dwelling place through which she can walk in perfect security always." (Mother Mary Francis PCC, A Right to be Merry, 1956 edition, p. 99.  (This book is now published by Ignatius Press)

In the analogy of "the cloistered heart," I am invited to live within the boundaries of God's will as these are clearly defined for me in Scripture and in 2,000 years of authentic Church discernment.  I might find myself worrying that such boundaries will sap all joy and pleasure from my life.

The saints tell me otherwise. 

"Always remain quiet and calm in the shelter of God's will, under the mighty protection of the Most High."  (St. Paul of the Cross)

"Freed from the heavy burden of my own will, I may breathe freely under the light load of love…”  (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

“The height of loving ecstasy is when our will rests not in its own contentment, but in God’s will.” (St. Francis de Sales)

Painting:  Edmund Blair Leighton, The Roses' Day, in US public domain due to copyright expiration