Spirituality and All That Jazz by Peter Menkin
by Peter Menkin 1/17/2009 / Christian Living
by Peter Menkin
For Religious Reading, Prayer, And Living A Spiritual Life Before I enter into a long remark and analysis on the worth of living the spiritual life, and of keeping a copy of this pocket size book The Rule of St. Benedict, I want to write a short introduction on what is the basis of my theme for the use of the book:
prayer. Then to discuss the work as I see it as a contribution to ones own life of living in the world and
in the light of God's presence.
An Invitation To Contemplative Prayer
And The Many Mansions Of Faith
I am going to tell you, and tell those I do know, some of my thoughts about contemplative prayer, and prayer in general. I want to make a statement to encourage people to think about God, and to consider entering the ministry by being
a friend to others. I used The New Standard Revised
Version of the Bible (Oxford), and The New Jerusalem Bible
(Doubleday) when composing some of these thoughts.
I listened to the Dean of Grace Cathedral, Alan Jones,
reading the entire script of the book "The Cloud of
Unknowing". He has a very remarkable and instructive
reading style. And a voice that is easy to hear. The audio tape is available from The Grace Cathedral Gift Shop,
1055 Taylor Street, San Francisco, California. There are
two tapes in the set. The Dean's voice is a comfort to his listeners, so you may find listening to the tape good
background sound for tuning into.
Another thing to know about me: I am an Oblate of New
Camaldoli, and they have a hermitage in Big Sur, California, that is worth visiting. It is South of Lucia on Highway 1.
They are Benedictine Monks, and oriented towards
Vatican II. Here is a book for recommended reading: "Love
on the Mountain" by Robert Hale. This is The Chronicle
Journal of a Camaldolese Monk and it is available through
The Hermitage Bookstore, Immaculate Heart Hermitage,
Big Sur, California 93920. Also Amazon.com
There are some other interesting books from the publisher, including one that tells where monasteries and retreat houses are located in the United States. You may want to get that book to visit some of these lovely, peaceful, and sacred places. Travelers will find it especially interesting.
The publisher: Source Books, P.O. Box 794, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678. Write for a flyer of their book list, and enclose an SASE for the one page paper.
Here Is The Text About God And Me And Others And Prayer:
The mystery of the presence of God, as the life of Christ is
available to us by prayer. St. Benedict wrote a rule about prayer. The rule says, "At these times, therefore, we should sing the praises of our Creator for his just judgments...
" We do this during the Daily Office of the Morning, and in the Evening.
"The Rule of St. Benedict" is a little book illustrating some of the things we know about God. Mostly it is about staying
in the Spirit of the Almighty, and learning about the justice that comes from a relationship with the Triune God. Most of the thoughts about God and Christ and the Holy Spirit come from St. Benedict, and in The Rule he illuminates what he is himself. You are encouraged to purchase the book sometime, and to read it. Young people and those
in their 30s and up, who are interested in living a life of prayer, or living with God in their lives, and especially
those who have wondered what it is like to be called by Christ, will find The Rule an introduction to better living.
You will be joining many other people through the decades who have also shared an interest in finding out what God calls them to do in their lives. Young people who have sensed that a life in the service of their Church will discover that through prayer they will be able to discern what the Spirit is saying to them.
Surprisingly, many people who have experienced and know God agree that a regular prayer life is helpful in stabilizing their living with others. We share in God through Christ, and in this book of quotations from the Bible you will find an introduction to Christ's message of the indwelling Trinity.
By regular prayer, an introduction to the contemplation of the just judgment of creation itself in the making of
the world, man, and our lives is appreciated. Within that
indwelling Christ is the with you. Discovering in
contemplation the Triune God, through Christ, is that
being with others in worship, along with the very gift of
recollection. In the daily practice of prayer one may enjoy the recalling of the community in Christ.
"'No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.'
(Meister Eckhart, quoted from his writings.)" John 1:18
This is the living food that is available in prayer, and through the attendance of Church where the sacraments are
offered. This coming to know Christ with the adoration that is a joy is a developed discipline. It is through the food of the will that we are able to do what it is that Christ asks
of his, for it is "the will of him who sent me" that we are
seeking through the attention we give to Christ. The
Kingdom of God does come to us in the daily ministration of a few minutes of prayer each day; and the completion
of this work may take many months to start to attend to
the harvest. You will be able to tell when you look around you and see that the days are ripe for the harvest for
this is what paying attention to Christ in the spirit will bring on a daily basis. This common experience of an ecstasy
in the Triune God through this reception is a ripening
of the spirit. We are told in John 4 that "The reaper is
already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal
life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together."
How may we enter into the gates of the mansions, and
the worlds that are available to us in the Spirit, and in
service to others? How may we as lay people support
and live in our Church lives as Christians, entering into
the manifold daily welcoming that is the offering of the spirit? We can and do practice this with the Grace of God. This Grace is something that is an entry point to the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a narrow way to Heaven
that is a beginning for the willing participant in prayer.
By considering Christ as the spiritual community of our lives, we join with others in a labor, and as John tells
us directly"...you have entered into their labor."
During Christ's rest, for he is an enlightened man,
inspired, and instilled with God's blessing as God in man; even then he is at work bringing us into his fold. When
he visited with the Samaritan woman and told her of
the living water he brought, the result was that other
Samaritans began to come to him to ask him to stay
with them. This willingness to faith, which is a hope in things unseen, and a belief in going forward in the Spirit, is a gateway for us to begin to recognize that the in-
dwelling reality of God's gift is available to us through
the poetic recognition of our own silence. We may find
the still point of our experience in the world, and in our inner selves through a reading of the scriptures, and the practice of prayer in the morning and in the evening.
Prayer offers us comfort in knowing that the Savior of the world is available to us for a questioning time, when we
may speak freely to God with a directness that allows for even the most genuine freely given parts of ourselves.
This giving over to the Savior our innermost sanctuaries,
and those private thoughts and desires is part of what
prayer life is about. This is recollection, the remembering
of things, people, and events that have passed. We can
enter into many rooms, many places, many doorways
of our day in prayer. We can remember our friends, their voices, their activities of the day or of last week or last
year in our prayers. Through this recollection as a lived
and remembered intention there is a gift of Grace that
allows us to enter into the stillpoint. Through Christ we
enter into the knowing of God the Father, and by the
Holy Spirit we are illumined with a continuing expression
of the newness of the words that are on the page of
the prayer we may be reading, or the words of the
prayer we may be saying.
The unknowing of this practice is the very essence of the experience. Call this a spiritual exercise, a relinquishing to Christ in adoration the kind of desire of Love that is
the sweetness of the Lord. From the giving of ourselves
in this manner we are partakers of a living water that is
a thirst of the Love that beats dearly and closely to reveal that we are children of God. Christ is willing to be with us
in this time of privacy, and intimacy, to allow us to be a
gatherer of the fruit for eternal life. To enjoy this repast of
a feast with others in the sharing of their lives, and the
laughing or sorrow that is with others in community is
a part of the life of prayer. We practice this kind of prayer
with others, and recollect it. Do this with others and
when with ourselves alone, remembering that we are
always in the presence of Christ.
The largeness of prayer life comes to us as we expand
towards an ascension with the Lord so that we may know that he is the Savior of the world. This is the act of hastening to our heavenly home, a time to run the race of life and not tarry. Though others have gone before us, and we join them, and that they have labored, and we enter into their labor
as Christ tells us in John, being with them is part of the gift
God offers us in the redemption of Christ, his son.
"All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
The disciples found the Lord in Capernaum, where they went looking for him (after the loaves and fishes were distributed to the multitude who had gathered to see him). In prayer we eat of the bread of life from week to week, celebrating and preparing each day for the gathering that is the memorial and sacrifice of Sunday. In our celebration of prayer, practiced in whatever mood we may be in, or condition of our lives, we continue to look forward to the way of coming to the Father in the Son. "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and
whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35).
Many times during prayer other thoughts come into our minds. These can be intuitions, and considerations, worries, and memories of the day or of people in our daily lives. This is the stuff of life that is the renewal of prayer. Look for this revelation and ascend with it. Join with this everything that is given to the Son through the Father. In a manner of contemplation, of being mindful of the joy that is available and will come to you through him, recall that Christ gives of himself in an offering with which we enter. "...anyone who comes to me, I will never drive away..." (John 6:38).
The heartfelt need of taking in the bread of life that is a sustenance for daily living, and a renewal of healing in the bringing of oneself back to the Lord in one's self is the
everything that we look to be receiving. In our unknowing state of faith, in our willingness, through travail, or joy, or times of quiet and rest, we may continue to seek and find
a resting place in Christ every day.
The will of Him who sent Christ is that he should lose none of us. Rest assured that by keeping one's mind on the
availability, and the psyche's loving desire to be with the beloved, the bridegroom, we may enter into another room
or another place of the many mansions that comprise a mountain to ascend. In this charism of quietude, and in this
well-being of the Spirit, be centered on and open to the
receiving of the Lord. How mighty is the experience of prayer is the private knowledge that is unspoken in the
word that comes from the wind of the Holy Spirit like a
presence, yet is at the same time a witness to the
resounding pleasure of the living word found in scripture.
The Father is revealed in the flesh and the presence in the spirit of Christ, through the believers and those whom
Christ may wish to reveal himself. Whom this may be is a mystery. Entering into this mystery enables us to enjoy the daily reading of scripture, or the sheer pleasure of hearing the sound of another reading aloud a passage or selection from the books of the Bible. In Church, or among friends in fellowship, the use of the scriptures or the sharing of
a friendship in Christ is a spiritual experience in knowing the loving God who comes to us through and in our faith in Christ. By this act of community, whether alone or
with others, we share in the mystery of an ascension into the unknowing of a world that is heaven sent, and gifted
as a grace for the known acknowledgment of the
Within this adoration, or by the recognition of the light
that is the way of joining into the climb towards heaven, we are able to recognize that this bread has come down from heaven. In this age, and in the age to come, we
may be a leaven for the Spirit of Christ in our actions and good deeds for others. We may be allowing ourselves to bring the goodness of the spirit of the Father, and
the presence of the Trinity into the world through this
daily exercise of the promise that the Lord offers us.
You are drawn by the Father who sent Christ, and on the last day you will be raised up. At that time and in the present, as one seeks to enter more deeply into spiritual matters, you may find that you have heard and learned to come to Christ. In our thankfulness for this historic act of human dimension given by God in the redemption of the world, through a mystery of creation from the time the world began, we become in Christ. This is the way of eternal life.
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that
I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." (John 6:51).
Speak the good words to others, and when the time comes for silence, be wise and know that there is esteem for
silence. Be awake so as to recall that there are things and words to be left unsaid. Enter into this reverence with
others, and practice a listening heart, a listening ear, and
a receptive presence. In this receiving of others, and in
receiving of the spirit, we are receiving Christ.
In The Rule of St. Benedict the writer exhorts regarding
the wisdom of the Saints and their gifts in Christ to
"attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully
put it into practice." (Prologue, The Rule of St. Benedict).
Be sure to ask another, especially one who is a superior,
for a blessing. This acknowledgment and request
by ones actions or words for a blessing is a way of
keeping the Ten Commandments. "Thou shalt not
bear false witness against thy neighbor." (The Book of
Common Prayer). The practicing of virtues is a good
reward, and entering into the Lord's service as a
lay person, lay minister, pastor, as a priest, or into the
monastic life is a beginning.
Seek holiness. Seek goodness. Seek Christ. Be present
to the living God who is present at all times, and
remember that we live in the sight of the Lord, with the
gift of the Trinity. Each day is a day that the Lord has
made, we are glad in it.
"Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it."
What is this word that we have received through prayer, or the practice of living, walking, engaging in sports, doing our work, talking to friends and family in the knowledge that we do so in the light and sight of God? It is a spirit. How do we discern this Spirit of the Lord that he gives
us as the indwelling Christ? It is a sense of ourselves in
the beauty and gift of the Lord. This comfort that tells us that we are a child of God and wanted, that we are going towards the Kingdom of God, is a sense of our selves and well-being. It is there. Discern the gift of the Spirit. Live in the knowledge that Christ is good and he loves us as
he gives the gifts to us so that we may receive our name and the white stone on which we are made His, as we
are initiated into the life of being a Christian.
This is an important dimension for the living soul that speaks and is tried in the fire of a furnace that is
the Holy Spirit. The spirit speaks to the Churches, and we hear the Spirit when we gather for prayer. Those who feel a calling to he Priesthood, or a life in service, or volunteer work as a Christian in community who will do for another, gains the ktnowledge of the hidden manna that comes through the Eucharist, and in the living word of scriptures. These are written on the wind, and how the wind blows we know not for God's ways are not our ways.
In this unknowing we come to the closeness in finding a place to stand or a crag to lay hold of or sit in as we enjoy and in awe watch the living majesty of God enfold. These eyes of ours that are in the Spirit, the teller of a truth that is a comfort even until the end, is a realization that we are in a universe that is good, and a world that God created for
us to come and be with him. We await his coming in glory.
The Spirit is at work in the world and in the Church evennow. "The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity..." who spoke through the prophets and in the creation of the world was revealed to us so we can be led to the truth that enables us to gain this hidden manna that is a good food. As we grow into the likeness of Christ we may recognize that in our confession of Jesus Christ as Lord, we are brought into the harmony of the indwelling Trinity.
This is a harmony of love, a calling and a giving, that is love so genuine and close as to be a passion of religious experience shared throughout many generations and ages by people known and not known, people remembered, and people who are not remembered.
Prayer helps us to be brought into the righteous condition that the justice of God gifts to us. During our daily or weekly reading of scriptures it is important to recognize the resonance of the truth that the word brings to us, as it is brought to us in the thoughts, whispers, desires,
and all things that make for good in us or among our thoughts. Something good will come out of our accord with the scriptures, and in our attempt to be willing to be with others in community so that the word can be studied and made alive within us. This Trinity is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This wonderful God of ours is a moving and living eternal force from the time of the beginning of the world, made by God in Christ at the creation of the world. Everyday we are living the revelation through the liturgy of our prayer time and mostly of our time in Church. (The Paschal Liturgy and the Apocalypse by Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., Ecumenical Studies in Worship, 1960.)
Whether we are sought for and are seeking to become a Priest, or have talked to a friend or a minister, or in our study group about some of the mysteries that bring us in a call to be part of the Christian lives and sensibilities of the Spirit, is a good indication that the Holy Spirit and this living manna is with and among us. our own name on it so that each of us may know that we
are a treasure with a gift from God.
Here we may find the gift of the cross, and the way of the cross that is part of the life and passion of the obedient and chaste Christ--who in his gentle and knowing way as a man born of Mary, in the flesh of a human, shares with us in the tears, toils, and the sufferings that we live in our own lives. This gift of God, as a redemption of the world is a mystery
of everyday living and is the revelation of the Bible lived
out in the liturgy of the days of the week between Sunday and preparation again for Church on Saturday. Here is
the entry point to the living of a Christian and religious life. This kind of living can be begun again anew everyday
and begun anew every week. In so doing we are obtaining
a hidden manna that allows us to proclaim nature of
Incarnation and of God as Trinity.
"If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it."
Thomas asks the lord how we are to know the way. Jesus replies that he is the way, and the truth, and the life. Through him we can find the satisfaction of the Father, in knowing the Father: for by being with and seeing Christ, as one may speak with and dwell in Christ, one is able to recognize that Christ is in the Father and the Father is in Christ.
This indwelling of Christ is the epiphany of the light that comes to us after Christmas, a proof that the promise and glory of God in redemption has come to our world. Faith
as small as a mustard seed is what is asked, and that we
of little faith continue on the way so that we may love him and keep Christ's commandments. Christ promised that
he will ask the Father on our behalf to give us another
Advocate, who will be with us forever. "This is the Spirit
of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it
neither sees him nor knows him."
As children of God, we have been promised that Christ
will come to us and live with us because we also live in
him. The Summary of the Law is one of the gifts that Christ leaves with us, and we renew our establishment with this Summary: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is
the first and the great commandment. And the second
is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The New Commandment is that we love one another
as Christ loved us.
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works."
There is an ancient dispute that John 6:52 addresses, and it is about the literal living off of, the eating of the flesh of Jesus Christ. We do in our lives share in the suffering and the trial, the festival, and the light of the Son of Man because we do eat the flesh, drink the blood, and thereby have his life in us. Through this partaking of the mystery
of faith in the wine and the bread the true drink of life is continued. Those who wish to abide in Christ, so that he may and will abide in them, do this for the living Father has sent him to us. Prayer prepares us for this embrace of the Spiritual longing and the flesh of the community, which in this life and the next enables us to live a Christian life. In this Spirit of embracing and joining with others in the worship experience we are as individuals made into the embodiment of the body so that we may through him come to the Father. Esating of this sustenance, and sharing in the activities and living presence of Christ is granted to us. In this way one can come to Him. "It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." (John 6:63).
AN INTERLUDE As Conclusion
We come in the all in all on the wounds of Christ in the Song of Songs by the silent prayer and the noblest prayer, so that "I Must Be Sun" for that is why God has joy and rest and where beauty derives from love.
The greater the love, the greater the blessedness. This is the Rose, the hidden source of God's splendor everywhere.
[Robert Hale, a monk, quotes Angelus Silesius in brief poems. (Angelus Silesius is new to me; nonetheless I had to pass along to you my copy work of these words by the seventeenth-century mystic. They are from the book Love on the Mountain.)]
The rose which here on earth is now perceived by me. / Has blossomed thus in God from all eternity. (1:108)
THE HIDDEN SOURCE
Who would have thought of this! The darkness brings forth light, / The something comes from naught, death does engender life (4:163) God's Splendor is Everywhere. No speck so tiny is, no spark can be so dim, / The wise don't see God's splendor deep within. (4:160)
ALL IN ALL
How saw Benedict all in a sun-ray revealed? / See, all is hidden in all, and therein is concealed. (4:159)
ON THE WOUNDS OF CHRIST
I look upon Christ's wounds as wide celestial gates. / And know that I can enter through these five safest ways. How may I come straightway to stand close to my God? / I shall through feet and hands enter the heart of love. (4:46)
THE SONG OF SONGS
The king leads his bride into the cellar for wine. / That she may choose what most delights her taste. / If you would be God's bride, He will deal with you thus; / Nothing He has Himself that He'll not to you entrust. (4:88)
THE SILENT PRAYER
God far exceeds all words that we can here express. / In silence he is heard, in silence worshipped best. (1:240) THE NOBLEST PRAYER
The noblest prayer will one so much transform. / That he becomes himself that which he does adore. (4:140)
I MUST BE SUN
Myself, I must be Sun, whose rays must paint the sea. /
The vast and unhued ocean of all divinity. (1:115)
WHY GOD HAS JOY AND REST
Because God is Triune, He does have joy and rest: /
Rest is in the Oneness, joy among the Three. (5:283)
BEAUTY DERIVES FROM LOVE
Beauty derives from love, even God's face. / From love
originates, or it would radiance lack. (5:292)
THE GREATER THE LOVE,
THE GREATER THE BLESSEDNESS
The measure of all bliss one does by love assess. / The
more one has of love, the more one will possess (5:295)
"In our prayers for you we always thank God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Col 1:3)
Entering into the contemplation of God and by the practice of friendly acts, and good deeds, one is able to continue
to enter in through the sheepfold gate. In our present age, we are beset with so many trials that it is difficult to know what is meant by entering the sheepfold by the gate.
In the manner of contemplation, this is simply to recognize that the Christian may in different ways enter when the
gatekeeper opens the gate for him. When we hear others
tell us that we are on the right path, or when we ourselves have the sense that we are in the right way, this kind of
concord is a helpful indication that we are with the Lord.
Questioning the authority, and testing the spirits, looking
to the side and checking out how awake one is in this
practice of seeing who is ahead of one is a good way to determine when we are doing the right thing.
The Church itself is a source for the kinds of teachings that will allow us to keep from following a stranger, or having the gatekeeper run away when we ask a more difficult question is a good indication that we are in a place that needs
another look. In the spiritual sense, this means discerning the spirits by recognizing that it is Jesus who is listening
to us. He is the gate through whom we enter into the
Triune experience of God, that is the freedom we seek.
In this pasture, we can be tranquil in our entering by him
so that we may be saved. As a good shepherd, Christ
lays down his life for the sheep. He does not leave when
the wolf comes running, or when the wolf snatches and
scatters the sheep.
There is one flock, one shepherd, and He was and is
willing to lay down his life in order to take it up again for
us. "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own
accord." (John 10:17). This ongoing willingness to give attention, and be in friendship with others is an indication that we are receptive to the spirit. We may enter into the power to lay our time, and our treasures down to have
the power to take our time and treasures up again. By
this is meant that we can as individuals engage ourselves
in our daily tasks to keep Christ before us, and we can
in our daily struggles begin again and renew ourselves
in our efforts to be willing in the spirit and in our actions
to continue on in our lives as Christians.
For those who seek to be gatekeepers, to lead others, to care for them, to help them enter into the Christ, we must
be willing to be present to each other. In this community
of Christian practice we will be able to persevere. We
will continue to follow in the Christ to worship, adore,
obey, cherish, and be present to the Triune God.
"Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come
in and go out and find pasture." (John 10:9)
In the partaking of the sacraments, we enter into the
mystery of the sacrifice that the body of Jesus Christ is
as an offering by God's will. Living this life is with its trials,
and its tired times, its limits and its times in the flesh. This
is a real life in this world. There is no one who can avoid
the necessity of aging, or of pain, or disappointments.
By continuing in the way of Christ we are entering into
our heavenly reward, and hastening towards our heavenly
home. Through the practice of humility we may as private people in our monastic selves engage in the love of God, performed by ascending through steps of good habit
and delight in virtue. The Rule of St. Benedict outlines
seven steps of humility that lead us through love to God which casts out fear.
This ladder of humility is the same that Jacob saw in a dream. By practicing the steps of ascension in this manner we put before us the recognition that we can be with God.
The first step of humility is to keep the fear of
God before our eyes. Live in the presence and sight
The second step of humility is to do the will of God, by imitating the actions and living the life of Christ as it is
revealed and outlined in scripture.
The third step of humility is to obey others by cooper-ating with them, or questioning them, or submitting to a superior in the Christian spirit and faith. This means to
be awake when doing so, and in this manner we will not
be locked in step and blindly going forward without
others in a misguided manner.
The fourth step of humility is to persevere and be
brave of heart and rely on the Lord. There is a reward
from God to come. The fifth step of humility is to confess to others our sins and our faults, or errors, wrongs and ways. Make these things known to the Lord in prayer, and in examination of yourself on a daily basis. Using the Decalogue is a good way to examine one's life, for the Ten Commandments are
a gift from God. Remember that in doing so, by confessing to the Lord, that the Lord is good and his mercy is forever.
The sixth step of humility is to be content with oneself
and ones lot in life, to be where one is in life, and to live ones life where one is in the present. God is present with
us where we are whether we reconize this fact or not;
Christ is with us at all times. Be with the Lord always by reminding yourself that He is present, and He is in you
and you are in Him.
The seventh step of humility is that it is a blessing to be humbled so that one may learn the commandments of
God, and live in the manner of keeping a perspective that we are but human and passing like the grass that withers,
yet the Lord is from age to age.
The eighth step of humility is that one follows the
common rules of ones community, or of ones monastic
or religious community. This can sometimes be difficult,
and it is in so doing that we are brought to living with others and finding our way. This takes a special kind of humility and often requires the example of those who are superior to us to be able to practice.
The ninth step of humility is to speak in a manner
that avoids sinning, so that there is not a flood of words. Controlling ones tongue so as to be providing others
with encouragement or better things, rather than the
diversions of misguiding others is a constructive
way to practice this kind of humility.
The tenth step of humility is to keep a sense of humor with oneself and others, so that we are able to like one
another and ourselves.
The eleventh step of humility is to speak gently,
with a modesty and reasonableness that is sincere to
other people. Practice being genuine in kindness, and speak these kind of words by saying less of them.
This is called being "few in words."
The twelfth step of humility is to continue on in a
journey so that ones bearing allows for others to know
that one is willing to be a ready listener, and so that
others may recognize that you are willing to be
someone living with humility. The modesty of this
kind of practice is important, for it is in love that we
perform this kind of humility. It is in good habit
and delight in the virtue of this ascension of being
in the presence of God, by a joy and a willingness
to reflect on the 95th Psalm.
As a morning guide the 95th Psalm is a good guide
to living a life in the presence of God, and one that is
beginning in humility in the presence of the Lord.
This is a Psalm that allows our heart to be fixed,
and to dance and walk in the pleasure of the life that
God has given us. This is why it is so important to
stay with a life of prayer. Persevere.
Come, let us sing to the Lord;
Let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving
And raise a loud shout to him with psalms
For the Lord is a great God, And a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth, And the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, And his hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, And kneel before the Lord our Maker
For he is our God,
And we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!Harden not your hearts,
As your forebears did in the wilderness, At Meribah, and on that day at Massah,
When they tempted me. They put me to the test, Though they had seen my works.
Forty years long I detested that generation and said,
"These people are wayward in their hearts; they do not know my ways."
So I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest."
--Peter Menkin, Obl Cam OSB
Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA where he writes poetry. He is an Oblate of Immaculate Heart Hermitage, Big Sur, CA and that means he is a Camaldoli Benedictine. He is 64 years of age as of 2010.