Monday, February 6, 2017

The Grille Again (Again)

With all that's going on in the world these days, I would personally like to bury my face so firmly in the cloistered heart 'grille' that I'd wind up with criss-cross marks imprinted on my forehead.

Actually, I would prefer to hide deep inside cloister walls. But I cannot do that. I am called to face the world in its woundedness, seeing my little part of it and letting that little part (family, friends, acquaintances) see me.

I never (ever) want to face the world's confusion, seductions, dissension, anger, fear and distortions unless I do so through the grille.

What is "The Grille?" 
This is how we've previously described it:  
Sometimes I look at the world and feel unsettled.  Perhaps that’s why I’m so grateful to have grillwork. I am glad to be able to respond to world situations, the media, and various circumstances of life “through the grillwork of the will of God."

I do not have to guess what that will is. God has revealed it.  Scripture and the authentic teachings of the Church make up the bars of my "grille."

I compare this way of seeing to the view a nun might have of someone in her foyer.  Sister stands at the grille, looking out at whoever stands before her.  The foyer is a public part of the monastery, accessible to almost anyone.  In my monastery, I see the "foyer" as my mind.  I invite thoughts there by what I see and hear, but I have little control over what might come in uninvited.  If I turn on TV or walk into a store, all sorts of things push in.  Some are like salesmen in a monastery foyer, displaying catalogs of their wares.  “Have you worried about this today?” the thoughts ask. “Look at this new line of fears - tailor made just for YOU!”  

"God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)  I ask God to impress this truth upon me. 

“But consider the pain you’ve been feeling!!” the thoughts insist.
"I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18).  I recite this bar of my grille over and over.

“…But look at you!  You are weak and helpless!”   
“In Him Who is the source of my strength I have strength for everything.” (Philippians 4:13).

And on it goes.  Finding the view is not easy.  I try every day; I fail every day.  But with every “success,” it seems the grillwork grows stronger before me.  It is how God invites me to meet the world.  

"During this changeable life, one must preserve a steady and imperturbable evenness of spirit.  Although everything may change around us, we must keep the serene glance of our soul constantly turned to God. ” (St. Francis de Sales) 


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