One of my favorite Christian authors, Kathleen Norris, became a Benedictine oblate and immersed herself for a time in the liturgical world. I love her reflection on that life in The Cloister Walk (Riverhead Books) for its meditative tone and sharing of spiritual experiences that inform my own walk.
I’m not becoming an oblate, but I am going to the monastery on New Year’s Eve for a couple of days. The Erie (PA) Benedictines offer small cottages (“hermitages”) located in the woods near the monastery for folks who want a secluded time away. A Catholic friend and I once shared a weekend there, together and apart, listening to God. We spent time in prayer in a beautiful chapel and joined the Sisters for meals and Mass. (Like I said, they welcome anyone of any faith!)
The issue of “having time” is not on the radar. This is a priority. No major crises–my kids are great, so is my family, I am pursuing new opportunities in my teaching and writing career. But I’ve run into roadblocks that are making me reconsider my “little life.” You’d think by now, at my age, that I’d know what I want to be and do when I grow up. Well, I do, kinda. So what about these obstacles? There’s the rub.
And for all of the surface “obstacles,” I suspect the real ones are within me.
So, I am going to meet with God in a spiritual place. He can get around, or walk through, any obstacle, including mine. I trust him for that. So can you.