I received a sane, educated email from the ecclesiastical minister detailing our continued gathering after the culmination of ‘Arise’. I like the plain, simple, learned approach of her mind, the intentions of a woman able to humbly and easily adapt herself to communal life. Nothing strange, no visions, no spiritual superiority, nothing extravagant, no weirdness. It is becoming essential to my spiritual life, ways anchored within quiet still prayer, contemplative Adoration. Recently, I encountered a wonderful Vietnamese woman, a delight whenever we meet. She is always insisting everyone witness her supernatural photos of the Eucharist hovering about, and other incredible extra ordinary events she captures with her camera. Observing the photos, I noticed the beautiful Adoration chapel at St Clare was included in her supernatural wanderings. I pointed out how much I enjoyed the chapel, mentioning the statue of Mary. She became elated and excited, barely able to contain the abundance of words bursting forth. She told me of placing her hands in the hands of Mary, a motion of mercy I myself have practiced, and then Mary lifting her into the air and tossing her about. Mary raised her from the ground, rocking her back and forth, swinging her mightily, her hands glued to Mary’s while her feet flew to the right and then dramatically to the left. I could only laugh, and stammer ‘Oh my gosh’, while inside thinking with tickled cordial calmness ‘no, no, no, NO!!!’ Of course it is not a matter of believing or not believing her, rather being absolutely opposed to the necessity of supernatural events being a part of one’s spiritual life. St John of the Cross is adamant, as well as others, that the supernatural is not to be sought, nor to be romanticized. NOT at all!!! Anyway, back to the structured methodical ways of those I was blessed with through the ‘Arise’ gatherings. I am posting a part of her email:
I looked for the book that we were interested in. It is part of a series of four books entitled Why Catholic, based on the Catechism. The volume that most people were interested in was called Live: Christian Morality. The first six chapters, which we could cover by the end of June, “present the moral teachings of the Catholic faith, beginning with the Beatitudes and explore the principles of freedom and responsibility, conscience, virtues, morality, and grace.” The last six sessions, which focus on the Ten Commandments and their implications for Christian living, we could save for a later time.
Here is my email response: The program sounds interesting, fitting in well with a Father Gerald Vann book I have started titled ‘The Divine Pity’. I will see you next week. The cost of the book is no problem. A final note. The importance of the program for me is not introducing new ideas, expecting to learn things I have not been introduced to before, rather invigoration and enhancement, refined defining solidifying mature fellowship. And above all it is a practice in humility, not an opportunity to plague others will self-perceived brilliance, a crowd to bore with indulgent delusion–in reality establishing foes rather than friends. One must be careful and mindful moving forward in the spiritual life.
This is the opening page of my copy of Father Gerald Vann’s ‘Divine Pity’.
Saint Augustine’s Prayer
O Lord Jesus, let me know myself, let me know Thee and desire nothing but Thee alone.
Let me hate myself and love Thee; and take whatever happens as coming from Thee.
Let me humble myself and exalt Thee; and think of nothing but Thee alone.
Let me die to myself and live in Thee; and take whatever happens as coming from Thee.
Let me forsake myself and walk after Thee; and ever desire to follow Thee.
Let me flee from myself and turn to Thee; and so I may merit to be defended by Thee.
Let me fear for myself, let me fear Thee; and be among those who are chosen by Thee.
Let me distrust myself and trust in Thee; and ever obey for love of Thee.
Let me cleave to nothing but only to Thee; and ever be poor for the sake of Thee.
Look upon me, that I may love Thee.
Call me, that I may see Thee and forever possess Thee.