Friday, May 16, 2014

Symptoms of the Happy Affliction

I never expected to be writing another blog post today.  Yet after having trouble (again) with comments on here, I received a message from a friend.   

'I am curious as to how your other readers do this in their own lives as well,' she said.

Very simple.  Just one line.  And I began thinking....

I have letter excerpts from readers, dating back to 1993.   Obviously not blog readers, but people who wrote on paper they folded and put in envelopes and dropped in mailboxes.

Imagine doing such a thing!  They were letting me know they identified with the idea of the Cloistered Heart that I had just written of in an article. 

In the late 1990s, I obtained permission from some of these people to use a few of their writings in a little booklet, now long out of print.  Since those particular permissions still stand, I think it might be of help to us, and certainly to me (who's always in need of a 'refresher') to share some of these over the next few weeks.

I'm so looking forward to doing this that I just couldn't wait to come back and tell you about it!  We'll be keeping our same recent 'format' in days to come, and I will be using old and new writings of others (and myself) for the 'application' portion... where and as those fit.  For the most part, I will not include writers' names.  

Meanwhile, I hope you will leave comments sharing your own thoughts.

And now I will offer you excerpts from two of the earliest letters I received from article readers.  From waaaay back in 1993......

'Lay contemplatives must be the hidden gems of the Church these days.  It is time for them to stand up and make the hidden presence of their lives and prayers known...'  

'I am still in the baby stage when it comes to loving God's will.  Discernment of that will seems to me an incessant challenge, requiring utter humility.  But if I were to try to put the situation into words I would want to say that I am, in my better moments and by His grace, in love with my Creator and Redeemer, and that my loving His will is the inevitable corollary of that.  It is a symptom of the Happy Affliction!  It's in this sense that I respond to your touching image of the Cloistered Heart...'  

Stay tuned!  There is definitely more to come.....

Painting:  Marcus Stone, in US public domain due to age 

To return to the 'Monastic Adventure in Sequence' post, click here

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