Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A deeper life

I finished reading the book-The Orchards of Perseverance-Conversations with Trappist Monks, About God, Their Lives and the World.

I want to highlight one particular monk who stayed for 20 months then decided to leave. He said: "I decided to leave. It's very intense life. It might seem very slow, very passive from the outside, but they live a much more intense and deeper life than-at least I think-we do on the outside...It's a humbling experience when you are allowed to be in the presence of God..."

"Basically what I do now is I leave aside a certain part of each day to meditate or enter into silent prayer...to pray without words-it's not a prayer of petition or thanksgiving, it's just to be present in that huge deep silence that is God...You realize that you are nobody. You are nothing. He is everything and you are nothing, and I think many people are afraid of that experience to feel that their name, their credit card number, phone number, all their achievements, their position at work-everything-is meaningless in the face of God...you are naked before Him."

The author noted that there is "absence of bliss or extended period of actual contact with God." But then..."such experiences aren't talked about, because it's more prudent to keep silent. We don't actively seek the experience, for that is vain glory if not upright pride." The monk who left said at the end..."the best we can do is offer people a glimpse... it's up to them to deepen that glimpse into a longer look or an observation."

It helps me understand a liitle bit of what life of prayer is. And what even a short meditation means or what it should be. Or what I should do if I want to experience a deeper life.


Bellezza said...

Edgar, I can tell I need to stop for awhile here and contemplate your posts. They are thoughtful and insightful and meaningful to me. It seems that you strike at what is essential, rather than the superficial, which is something I strive to do as well. I have to hurry off to work today, a huge day at school with conferences and whatnot, but I'll be back. I don't know how you found Dolce Bellezza, but I'm glad you did.

p.s. I see The Little Prince in your sidebar, a favorite of mine as well, and a book I am giving my students for Christmas this year.

edgar calvelo said...

Dolce Bellezza:
I could not remember how I found your blog. I think it started with Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.

Thank you for your comments.


Bellezza said...

A Moveable Feast was the Hemingway novel which taught me to appreciate his work. Before that, I didn't see what all the fuss was about. Knowing some of his background helped a lot!