Now it is enough to worship God perfectly with your substance, that is, with the offering of your naked being….Leave the awareness of your being unclothed of all thoughts about its attributes, and your mind quite empty of all particular details relating to your being or that of any other creature. For such thoughts will not satisfy your present need, further your growth, nor bring you and others closer to perfection. Let them alone. Truly these meditations are useless to you now. But this blind, general awareness of your being, conceived in an undivided heart, will satisfy your present need, further your growth, and bring you and all mankind closer to perfection. Believe me, it far surpasses the value of any particular thought, no matter how sublime. –‘The Book of Privy Counseling’
I remember when I first came across the book combining ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’ and ‘The Book of Privy Counseling’. It was during my confusing, wandering young adulthood, leaving the home of my parents to embark upon the life of an artist/writer, or whatever it was I was doing—a young observer of the world, heart open, seeking worldly experience. Consumed with a call, yet knowing nothing about where I was going, psychologically disturbed, lacking self-discipline, irresponsible, reckless, wounded and broken, immature emotionally, immature intellectually, open minded to the point of foolishness, I can only look back and identify divine providence as keeping me safe from harm’s way. God was watching over me–Mary my personal protector. The mentioned book containing two works, I purchased at a Salvation Army store in Toledo, Ohio, located on Sylvania Avenue in the early eighties. The moment is still right there before me. I discovered the book along with St Louis de Montfort’s ‘The Secrets of the Rosary’ digging through the stores large collection of paperbacks. Instantly, the cover of both books captivated, fascinating to a point of immersion—eliminating all other voices, creatures, and personal experiences. The books were found right next to one another. At that time, unemotionally, without great opinion, lacking all persuasion, I knew this was my path. Other avenues would be explored, however there was nothing I could do about matters. It was grace. It was not my decision. Here was my way. It continues to be my path. Now thirty years later, through much turmoil, the conviction remains, advancing to the solitary.
I find the inclusion of photography in my personal endeavors expanding. Images replacing thought. Vision replacing analyses. Observing replacing commentary. The living of that which is quoted above. Regarding photography, there is much to learn, not only taking photographs, yet also handling and editing. I am experimenting with aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings, as well as editing techniques, truly figuring out how to take and present quality photos. I am thinking about taking a class. I like the idea with respect to increasing my social activity in a healthy adult manner. There are several personal pursuits that demand patience. I admire the time calling me to do nothing. To busy myself with useless activity, flooding my life with new people, in order to obfuscate self-knowledge is dangerous. I am confident God desires that I prove I can turn my attention solely and simply upon Him. The Hospice of Western Reserve paperwork is filed. I must wait until classes in September for further qualifying for the volunteer work centered upon the Rosary. Alluring religious correspondence I hold in reserve, granting dignity and privacy, also slowly simmers upon a backburner. I learn to take photos and wait.
I offer a prayer/poem from Pope John Paul II.
O blessed Rosary of Mary,
Sweet chain that unites us to God,
Chain of love that unites us to the angels,
Tower of salvation against the assaults of Hell.
Safe harbor in the universal shipwreck,
We will never abandon you.
You will be our comfort in the hour of death,
To you the last kiss
Of our dying life.
And the final words on our lips
Will be your sweet name,
O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii,
O dearest Mother,
O refuge of sinners,
O sovereign comforter of the afflicted.
Be everywhere blessed, today and forever,
On earth and in heaven.