Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Isolation: An Amazing Grace

From Elijah's Breeze:
Here, the spiritual tradition of Carmel comes to our rescue! Through the means of monastic enclosure, it could help us to experience this crisis not only as a problem but also as an opportunity, as an amazing grace that we can receive. In the 16th century, St. Teresa of Avila founded her first monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns living in a strict enclosure. Why? So as to create a free space protected from outside intrusions in order to lead a life centered on the presence of God. Here we are: condemned during this period of confinement to live the life of Carmelite nuns in spite of ourselves… We may as well do it with a bit of intelligence!

Of course, this isn’t easy and you have to learn how to do it, especially when you haven’t chosen it, unlike the nuns. It takes time to get used to this limited space. Moreover, we don’t have equal opportunities in our stay-at-home, quarantined, or isolated, lockdown living situations. However, St. Teresa can help us in her writings by showing us the importance of recollection: to choose to turn toward the interior of ourselves; to discover there the presence of God hidden in our hearts; to experience that where we are, we can live with God. God is even found in the middle of the pots and pans, as Our Holy Mother testifies! The challenge is to accept the need to master our interiority. This will be done differently depending on whether we live alone or in a restless house, but for each one, a pathway is possible! So let’s try to turn the constraints of confinement into an opportunity for growth in contemplation. We will grow through this ordeal. (Read more.)

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