I came across the following today. It is a brief reflection, scribbled when the idea of 'the cloistered heart' was still quite new.
I do not enter the enclosure of God's will in a once-for-all step. I don't bid farewell to the world and twirl merrily off into Dreamland. I choose the will of God, I implore His grace to keep me 'enclosed,' and then:
I embark upon a journey.
There are hallways, hills, tunnels, valleys, stairs, entrances, walls, obstacles, gates, ladders, windows, shutters, ramps before me. I do not know what awaits my timid steps.
There are doors and I must go through them. There are portals of circumstance still unseen.
There is light here, and primarily this is the light of God's Word. It leads me on. There is the light of Church teaching as well, helping to make straight my paths. 'God's word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.'
If I am to travel deep into the will of God, I must embrace the finer - the finest - points of His will.
Cloister of the heart is a journey into the depths, a trek into ever deepening surrender. I see basic boundaries today, but some - the boundaries and doors of unfolding circumstances - I cannot see. They are hidden and obscure.
My cloister, therefore, is not a small enclosure. It is as big and deep as the plan of God. It is as wide as His love, as far-reaching as His call.
I am enclosed in a journey.
I am traveling more deeply into the will of God.
Top painting: William Paxton, 1921, in US public domain due to age
Door photo in public domain
Bottom painting: A Procession in the Catacomb of Callistus