Living in the Monastery Without Walls is a blog detailing my writings, experiences and thoughts of a life lived in the temporal world whilst also attending the altar of the sacred, the spiritual. For it is true that many of us whilst not feeling the call to monastic enclosure; still have the call to prefer the sanctuary of inner grace and to live a life dedicated above all else to God. Whilst monks and nuns dedicate their lives to prayer and observation according to routine and dictate of order- those of us who live in the monastery without walls face daily challenges and opportunities, unfettered by convention; that enable us to be the sacred Word living out in our thoughts, words and deeds a wider mission with all those we encounter.
To be in the world, yet not of it provides unique challenges and opportunities. It is obvious that we meet the secular world head on and have to find our way through it individually, without the comfort of an order to back us up. We must demonstrate as best we are able, faith, hope and charity whilst seeking always within what is demanded of us, avoiding the pitfalls of pride, ego and a notion of self importance.
Finding the time to sit in attendance of the altar within can also provide challenges-there are no set times for us to attend as in a monastic setting-we alone have to endeavour to meet our Lord of our own choosing and timetable-and whilst there must be vigilant, we have no background sacred music and chant to carry us through. We have no spiritual director other than the Lord himself to guide us. Yet, what better guide could we ask for?
And so…a piece that I wrote a few years ago comes to mind. Entitled “The Ancient Calling of Your Name” it will be the first piece of writing on this blog. I welcome all who visit here and invite you to sit with me a while so that we may share our company joyously and merge in unity at the altar without as well as the altar within.
In your heart remains the echo of the ancient calling of your name, iniating the response by you. This call goes out to you constantly and is in perfect harmony with your Soul. It is your soul keeping, your own identification given to you at the instant of your creation.
This calling of your name never ceases. There is never a time when it is not. Be still then and listen for this calling of yourself, the naming of you that is your belonging to the Greater Divine Presence. Within this call is all that you are, all that is unique of you, all that you were created to be. Its sound contains the totality of your perfection.
This call reaches none other than you. No one else can hear it but you. It resonates and realigns you to the Divine. It is the beacon, always lit, guiding you safely home to your self.
It is called in LOve and resonates in harmony with the degree of love that you hold within. A loving open heart that holds no grudge or ill intent will hear its calling loudly and clearly, able to follow its map without stumbling even amidst the loudest external noise.
A closed heart will never recognise its name and walks blind in a world of vibrant colours, deaf to its beautiful voice and crippled in its walking.
All life eventually answers to its own name calling and returns safely to whence it came.