Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, November 16, 2015


(From St. Joseph's Abbey Web Page)

Reading this morning from 
We Are Already One
(Thomas Merton's Message of Hope)
Reflections to Honor His Centenary 

Simeon Leiva-Merikakis, OCSO,
Reflecting on Merton's influence in his  becoming a monk, writes:

"When I finally met Father Louis  briefly in the Gethsemani guesthouse in June, 1968--only six months before his death-I simply wanted to speak to him a heartfelt thank-you in person. He had shown me through his own struggles and choices, shared with me by those writings with their irresistible tone of intimacy, that it was not an inane romantic dream to aspire toward eternal  Beauty even in the midst of a hard-nosed, pragmatic age. He had taught me by his life, more than by his words, how to distance myself from the shallowness and ruthlessness of the world in which I lived.
But above all, he had modeled for me the thrill of humbly bowing the neck of my own conceited ego to the tender persuasion of a faithful Love that does not pass away."
Pg. 133

Saturday, November 7, 2015


For me, God is mostly mystery.
For me, God doesn't "fix" things.
For me, God is simply present.
For me, God is intimacy.
For sure, God is love.

So when my wife had to be called back for a second mammogram this past week, I didn't find myself praying to God and asking that everything would be alright. Of course I was hoping everything was alright but if it was not, I just wanted the peace and wisdom to walk with my wife and be for her whatever it was she needed me to be.

We both believed that whatever was, was.
And if she had breast cancer we were both going to be afraid, sad
and all the other emotions that come with such a diagnosis. 
And then we were going to do our best to walk this journey together.

Why do I say all this?

It was just good to know that
as I sat there in that waiting room by myself for some forty minutes, following my mind to all kinds of scary and crazy places, I never once asked God to fix anything. There was no bargaining with this Mystery.
My life and my wife are no different than all the others who have gone through such ordeals. We are not in some way special.  I stuck with what I truly believed about this great Mystery we call God.

The Mystery is.

Maybe that's enough.

Maybe faith is just trusting the life we have is always infused with that mysterious Presence.
" whom we live and move and have our being."

My wife was fine.

What was, was.
And as she later posted on her facebook page...

simply, "I am thankful!"

So am I babe!
I love you Laurie.