Saturday, December 18, 2010

SOF: John O'Donohue and The Inner Landscape of Beauty

SOF: John O'Donohue and The Inner Landscape of Beauty

I listened to this podcast on beauty on the way home from Nashville today. I enjoyed it so much, I picked up a copy of John O’Donohue’s book: To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Hot topics from the podcast: Beauty, Celtic Spirituality, The Power of Landscape/Nature (Great combo with Wendell Berry, readings), Beauty of Dialog, Talk about the Philosophy/Theology of Time, and The Irish Accent is just beautiful to listen to!

Here is a podcast excerpt from O’Donohue that really caught me:
“One way, and I think this is a really lovely way, and I think it’s an interesting question to ask one self too, you know? And the question is when is the last time that you had a great conversation, a conversation which wasn’t just two intersecting monologues, which is what passes for conversation a lot in this culture. But when had you last a great conversation, in which you overheard yourself saying things that you never knew you knew. That you heard yourself receiving from somebody words that absolutely found places within you that you thought you had lost and a sense of an event of a conversation that brought the two of you on to a different plane. And then fourthly, a conversation that continued to sing in your mind for weeks afterwards, you know? And I’ve — I’ve had some of them recently, and it’s just absolutely amazing, like, as we would say at home, they are food and drink for the soul, you know?

Second thing, I think a question to always, ask oneself, who are you reading? Who are you reading? And where are you stretching your own boundaries? Are you repetitive in that? And you know, one of the first books I read as a child — we had no books at home, but a neighbor of ours had all these books and he brought loads of books, that’s how I ruined my eyes and I have to wear glasses. But one of the first books I read was a book by Willie Sutton, the bank robber, who was doing 30 years for robbing banks. And in the book somebody asked Willie, and they said, “Willie why do you rob banks?” And Willie said, “‘Cause that’s where the money is.” And you know, why do we read books, ‘cause that’s where the wisdom is.”

I just love the power of words and friends!

Friday, December 10, 2010

In Remembrance of Father Thomas Merton

Like all of you, I have gleaned much from the writings of Thomas Merton. I looked at my Merton devotional for today, A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals, and I thought I'd add an excerpt from it for today, the 42nd anniversary of his death.

December 10
Dying and Being Reborn in Christ

(Thomas Merton enters Gethsemani on December 10, 1941; he dies by accident while attending a monastic conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 10, 1968)

I come into solitude to die and love. I come here to be created by the Spirit in Christ.

I am called here to grow. "Death" is a critical point of growth, or transition to a new mode of being; to a maturity and fruitfulness that I do not know (they are in Christ and His Kingdom). The child in the womb does not know what will come after birth. He must be born in order to live. I am here to learn to face death as my birth.

This solitude -- a refuge under His wings, a place to hide myself in His Name, therefore, a sanctuary where the grace of Baptism remains a conscious, living, active reality valid not only for me but for the whole Church. Here, planted as a seed in the cosmos I will be a Christ seed, and bring fruit for other men. Death and rising in Christ.

I need to be "confirmed" in my vocation by the Spirit (speaking through the Church, i.e., the abbot and the community). This ordains me to be the person I am and to have the particular place and function I have, to be myself in the sense of choosing to tend toward what God wants me to be, and to orient my whole life to being the person He loves. (We are all "loved in general," but we have to personally accept a special love of God for ourselves.)

Blog Archive