Perhaps these thoughts connect with some of my thoughts on stability, which I offered after returning from spending a week at the border last month.
I have been reading Ilia Delio's memoir, Birth of a Dancing Star, and I have been thoroughly enjoying it. Her ability to articulate God as cosmic, divine Love is beautiful and inspiring. Here, she is writing about how this all fits within the lens of religious life:
Religious life is a perpetual fitness center for the soul or a "training center of love." The pursuit of holiness is learning to integrate the threads of our many loves into the single-hearted love of God. "You truly exist where you love," Bonaventure wrote, "not merely where you live." Where we grow in love is where we find our true being because it is where we find our freedom; and where we find our freedom is where we grow into our true identity in God.
"Religious" life is a life tethered to God and should be a life of growth in freedom and thus growth in courageous love, a life bountiful in love and thus the most daring life possible.
There are so many things I love about these words. They provide another example of what stability can do for one's heart. When we do the inner work to ground ourselves solely in God, uniquely as that might look in an individual's life, we can become free to live "courageous" and "daring" lives rooted in the gospel message of Love.
And yes, one must stay perpetually fit in exercising her spiritual life, but isn't the feeling of being truly free to love as one's best, fullest self worth it? Even if not vowed to religious life?
How can a monastery become the local Y for the spiritual life of its community?
Let us walk in the holy presence.
the photo on the left was last week, the right was yesterday!