Friday evening reflection

An evening with the Benedictines of St Andrew Abbey, or more appropriately with the Eucharist in Adoration. It is settling into a Friday evening ritual, although many changes appearing upon the horizon threaten all rituals and schedules within my life. Life advances. In regards to the Eucharist, I panic a bit when I think about the North Dakota community conducting adoration only weekly. I have become so dependent upon sitting in front of the Eucharist daily it is a bit frightening to think of life without such splendor. Yet ‘Thy will be done’. I hold dear Blessed Henry Suso and St Jane de Chantel using almost the exact words when stressing the importance of being able to leave God in order to advance closer to God. I must not become dependent and attached to devotions. My ideas of holiness and worship must not obstruct spiritual growth. St John of the Cross and Dom Lorenzo Scupli also touch upon stagnation existing within a dependence upon spiritual exercises or spiritual regalia. I always hold dear St John of the Cross stressing a particularly holy religious who prayed the Rosary devoutly for years with a simple austere Rosary he constructed from the bones of a fish he consumed. It is not confirmed, waiting on final approval, yet I am focused upon moving the discernment visit to North Dakota up to next week. Many promising things have been occurring. There is a tier one manufacturer pursuing rigorously. I was not looking for a job, yet I interviewed twice with the company, and next week I will conduct a final interview. I like the company, impressed with the professional and honest communication. They are offering a more technical position, focused upon PLC programming, with a future open to the potential of moving into an engineering based position. I marvel at the maturity of their organizational culture and the fact they are a worldwide company. They possess the structure, organization, and leadership necessary to bring greater meaning into my life. Interestingly, they have two plants in Spain: Valencia and Barcelona, presenting intriguing future opportunities. Yet I hold to nothing, subscribing to the advice of Sister Patricia from Our Lady of the Pines, holding everything lightly, allowing God to present solutions. The mindfulness I have been stressing lately–paying attention—is the contemplative way I repose into. Abandoning imagination, I do not waste my time dreaming, scheming, and fantasying. I deal with reality, what surrounds and involves the moment. I possess five vacation days. I will utilize them to provide a discerning retreat to North Dakota, an opportunity to step away from life and focus upon my future. The flight to North Dakota agreeably affords an aspiration acquired with my first flight earlier in the summer. I will have a layover in Denver so I will be able to view the Rocky Mountains, taking photos, before landing in Bismarck North Dakota. I will be sure to purchase window seats. Regarding expectations everything is being taken to prayer. Determinations perverted by imagination are recognized as the pollution of free will. I was proud of my post on the shallowness of proclaiming grace working in one’s life. It all coalesces into a lesser spiritual way, a spiritual life dominated by free will. It is not my way. I am being careful, tedious in my examination of myself. Confident, I am still emotionally shaken by Ann. I forgot what I was reading recently that stressed utilizing the weapons of Satan against Satan—to turn the complications, turmoil, temptations, and difficulties of life into spiritually fortifying fodder. That is being accomplished. I am strong, firm in who I am. I penetratingly know myself, advancing the self-awareness beyond my life, transforming it into a recollection upon God. I know I am done in a certain sense. Everything with Ann has formed an internal conviction that detaches me from the world. It makes me a stronger man of God. When I first parted from her, I was convinced I wanted to be married. The further I advance the more I realize I have no interest in romance or an intimate relationship. I really am done in that regard. I say that lightly, convinced yet allowing room for error. My contemplative life dominates, dictates my wants and desires. The idea of bringing someone into my life is exhausting, distracting. I have been alone for decades. Through Ann, I experienced the fact that someone making claims to be interested in the contemplative life can inflict intense mayhem. That is done. I have Carol and Mary as telephone and social acquaintances, allowing female companionship. That is enough. Both women have mature ideas and histories with men. They can be counted on for emotional, psychological, and spiritual stability. Does all this mean I am called to the cloistered life? Maybe yes and maybe no. I am not sure. I do not know. I do look forward to North Dakota simply based on the adventure, the flight, and the distant locale providing a fine spiritual retreat, the proper means to confront serious change within my life. With Labor Day falling on next Monday, I will be able to fly out Friday and arrive back in Cleveland the following Sunday, well over a week of visiting time. I wait upon final confirmation from the Abbey. All in all, my life is good. I am grateful, at peace, loving the eastside of Cleveland. I never forget where I came from. The depravity of the low I sunk to. I enjoy moments, cherishing simple things. Tonight after St Andrew Abbey another ritual is developing. On the drive home, I stop at Shaker Heights square, walking around the restaurants, coffee shop, cinema and retail stores–people watching, experiencing the ambience of Friday evening diners. The walk is pleasant, social, yet distant, allowing interaction while maintaining privacy. The public transit train passes right through the square. I love watching the trains in motion, the people waiting at the station. Tomorrow evening I will be attending a photo shoot with the Cleveland Photographic Society. Hopefully, I will have a new page of photos. The fact is I am not bitterly recoiling from life. Life is good. My roommate Carter is becoming such a fixture in my life, an authentic good friend, a mature cultured man of shared interests, including a passion for sports. I do not underestimate his importance–the blessing he is. He thanks me, worrying I will leave. Humbly, I am pleased to assist in lifting his spirits after his termination as a Hospice chaplain. Yesterday, we put together a letter seeking a request for a good reference from the institution. He will submit, actually he did today, I will find out how it went tomorrow, the letter to his boss who oddly enough called him in to tie up some paperwork and unfinished business. I am praying they offer him his job back. He will not ask, although when I mentioned it, he looked to the ground and said of course he would accept a job offer. He is a good man. He survives well off a retirement account and investments. The firing really wounded him. There is another roommate who moved out as I moved in. He is an aspiring screenwriter, having spent the last ten years in Los Angeles. We talk on the phone, meet for lunch. All in all, my point is that within the realization that detachment firmly settles between me and the world, I hold endearing love for the world. The pursuit of a retiring religious life is done for proper and necessary reasons. I am tired. No editing, going to bed. I met with Dr. Nichta, a volatile and emotional session. Now it is time for peaceful sleep.


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