Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lectio Divina - One hundred and ten

Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert, (New York: New Directions, 1960) p. 43.

A brother came to Abbot Pastor and said: Many distracting thoughts come into my mind, and I am in danger because of them. Then the elder thrust him out into the open air and said: Open up the garments about your chest and catch the wind in them. But he replied: This I cannot do. So the elder said to him: If you cannot catch the wind, neither can you prevent distracting thoughts from coming into your head. Your job is to say No to them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lectio Divina - One hundred and nine

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet. Stephen Mitchell, trans. New York: Vintage, 1986, p.41-2.

Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away, you write, and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast. And if what is near you is far away, then your vastness is already among the stars and is very great; be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lectio Divina - One hundred and eight

Stephen Mitchell, A Book of Psalms, Selected and Adapted from the Hebrew. New York: HarperPerennial, 1993, 4.

Even in the midst of great pain, Lord,

I praise you for that which is.

I will not refuse this grief

or close myself to this anguish.

Let shallow men pray for ease:

“Comfort us; shield us from sorrow.”

I pray for whatever you send me,

and I ask to receive it as your gift.

You have put a joy in my heart

greater than all the world’s riches.

I lie down trusting the darkness,

for I know that even now you are here.