THE NEW MONK, SEEKING A DEEPER ORIENTATION TO THE DIVINE, often struggles to convert his or her worldly existence into a spiritually attuned life. This occurs in part because we tend to think of monasticism the way we think about everything else: something we have to accomplish or achieve. But the contemplative or monastic life is a reversal of this attitude that we are in charge, that our will alone can motivate change, that we can get by in the normal frame of reference.
The monk aspires each day to humanity’s deepest potential, which affects everything: what one does, how one lives, and one’s relationship to money, possessions, and so forth. This aspiration is highly personal, as a person works to transform whatever is diminished by the world into a higher, more spiritual mode of consciousness.
The reverse perspective of monasticism means that we submit; we say “yes” to the wisdom that elevates our lives and activities. We consent. We have the freedom to refuse, to say “no.” But the monk is distinguished by his or her consent. This is the vow. I may move very slowly, I may be a turtle, or a snail, but I say “yes!” Show me the path. Open my heart. Live in me.
Excerpt, “My Soul a Feast of Prayers,” Forthcoming, © Beverly Lanzetta 2017
BEVERLY LANZETTA © 2017. All rights reserved.