25 September 2009

The Time is Almost upon Us (or just me)

I have just come over to England from Ireland. I am on a double "Family Tour." First I am seeing all of relatives on my mom's side of the family, then all the relatives on my dad's side. At least as many of them as I can: a couple cousin are off on holiday in Africa, and some are just off. :)

At present I am in Sussex. Experiencing fantastic autumnal weather. While my cousin did gardening, her husband took me to the town of Lewes. Later on we will go to my uncle who has just turned 90. Tomorrow I go up to Sheffield; then on down to Dudley.

The Castle Gate at Lewes

And this coming Tuesday I enter Mount St.Bernard Abbey. While packing upmy house I felt a good bit of apprehension. This is the first time in my life that I am closing a chapter of my life so firmly. This is the first time since I was 8 years old, that I do not have any keys. No keys to an house or a flat. No keys to a car or even a bike-lock. I do not even have locks on my luggage, so no keys there either.

But that chapter is closed. And the apprehension is gone. The sale of my house is entrusted to a remarkable friend. The title to the car is signed over. That which I did not need at the abbey was given away, thrown away, or just left behind. To a great extent I got rid of every thing that was extraneous to my new life. In time I will probably get rid of more stuff.

Detachment from things is pretty easy for most people to grasp. Detachment from friends and family is a lot more difficult to graps. Unlike things, I do not want to get rid of friends and family. But their priority in my life changes, and it changes drastically. Before I prioritized things the following way:
  1. God
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. Job
In a dire situation, one could temporarily move up to a higher position; but things averaged out in that manner. Now the list is more like:
  1. God
  2. Worship of God in the Liturgy
  3. Conversio Morum (the changing of my ways)
  4. Family and Friends
I cannot now drop things and run over and help. It can even be difficult to lend an ear, sometimes. But this is the life I have chosen, and I realized it long before I applied. But I pray that my friends stay friends with me. I do not want to loose them; I just cannot possess them.

So now here I stand on the precipice of my metaphorical Cîteaux. The Journey does not end here. Oh no! It is just beginning. The terrain is getting steeper and, I have to pay more attention to my footing. Strap up your hiking boots, grab a staff, and join me.

God's Blessing and Peace to you! Please pray for me.

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