04 July 2009

mOre On mOnAsTiC LiFe...(pARt 2)


I was replying to David's comment and it end up being too long... so I make it as Part 2, from the previous post :-) :
I wonder the same David...
I do know people who want to live in community, but for different reasons they 're not taking that step yet... I do know some who do live in community (maybe in a different way and context, but they do), but they are in other places, as they felt called by God... And I know people like you who have a similar vision for a monastic community, but for some reason, we're the only ones committed to the places we are...
We're all spread out in different places, which might make us feel "alone" sometimes and ask God " where is the community?"... but the truth is that we are not alone, and we're not out of our minds, as we know God is calling out many people these days to live the same way...
I think people like us, and places like the ones we're living are simply preparations... we are preparing a place for others to come and God is preparing ourselves... sometimes I even think that I'm preparing something for others to live it, not necessarily for me... (it would not be the first time God would do that)... and it's ok... what matters is that we know we are on this place, at this time, doing what we're doing... and only God knows why ...
But I believe the time will come when people will be ready to commit themselves as we are committing now... so we need to embody what we see in the spirit first, so that those who come after us may see that embodiment in us... does this make sense?
I do want a more permanent community here ( I long for that since I came), a small one (between 5 to 10, not more)... I'm waiting and wondering who would those be... I would love that "those" would be some of my closest friends who I know share the same desire... but even that, it's out of our hands, cuz we don't really choose the ones we'll be a family with... I know it will not depend on my choice, but in God's...
I'm grateful for the different experiences I've been having with the different groups of people who passed by so far (some I even thought would be the ones who would commit, but no...)... these experiences are teaching me lots about living in community, about my own role in this place, about my own weaknesses and failures...and it has been helping me a lot to discern more about what God wants for this place, and mainly what God doesn't want... (if I'm allowed to say that)
So, I see it all as part of a process... all my thoughts, meditations and prayers throughout these last 3 years (and not only mine of course ) are birthing in the spirit the shape that this community will take...
When I was thinking about the vision for this place I made a the drawing of a tree... well, and we know trees take ages to shape and mature ... some more than others...
Like the seasons : I see many fruits sometimes, I see many seeds being sprouted, but I also see leaves falling down and an apparent death being exposed and naked... eventually they all pass... and a new season starts...
There is no hurry in nature... actually, there's lots of patience and perseverance... but eventually what is to come, comes... and it's all in God's hands, not ours...
I planted many trees last year... I gave them all the same care... but some died... some are still struggling to survive this hot summer... and some are strong and rooted... That's the same with people... not all who pass by are to create roots here... some are not made for this climate or they are not strong enough themselves to handle the harshness of the soil at this pioneering stage... "only the strong survive"...I'm not thinking the way some people think about humans living in society, but this is a truth among animals and plants...
and maybe some places, those that are breaking ground and opening new paths, need strong people... not in their own strength (not perfect ones either, nor super-heros), but strong in their weakness and vulnerability, strong in prayer and their dependence on God, those rooted On The Rock...
We are to simply obey to the call we received and to try to live each day as a new day... knowing that God is in control...

Some might be resisting the calling... some might be waiting for the right time (as they are in a time of preparation themselves), some might have responded to that call and when faced with the difficulties of it, they give up... we don't know really... and I don't want to say with this that anyone is failing... all the reasons that prevent people from committing to a life of community are valid...
"COMMITMENT" , that's the word... but not all are ready for it... it's a scary thing... it needs to be gradual... like in a relationship... those who fall in love take time till they decide to get married... we need time to process the idea...and some are faster than others... some respond too fast, and along the road they give up...some take ages to decide, but when they do it, they go till the end , no matter what...
we all need time to fall in love with the idea of community, and allow that Love to grow in such a depth and desire for more, that then, we are ready to COMMIT...
Communities, like the church (for me it should be the same), is Jesus who builds up, not us... we cannot force it, we cannot do it ourselves...
... our work will be in vain...unless Jesus builds the community :-)
Does this make any sense ?!!!

5 comments:

Andy in Germany said...

Makes a lot of sense. We're still in the waiting stage. Sometimes I wish God would get a move on, although I've experienced monastic life in a couple of settings and I'm not always sure if I want to go back...

The point about the calling is important: we're called to do this in rural Germany: I don't know why, but that is what we've felt from the word go. I wish some people would accept that instead of telling others to join 'their' calling to cities or other countries.

Anonymous said...

Today, monastic can´t be meaning of community, only. The principles identified are insufficient, but important. Monastic, is not unique, there is multiply forms of doing it. Dominicans, Franciscans, Cartuxa, Carmelites, are different. Which is the paper of Work? How can you survive in the global society? Permaculture, is sufficient to define your style of life? Permaculture, use technology,Knowledge and innovation.

Baba said...

a brief note to the anonymous comment...
as I said, this is but my rough and simple meditation on the word "monastic"... I speak about community cuz it's what I have in my heart...we could think about the "hermits" and the "desert fathers"...and the "experts" on this subjects would probably not take much of what I shared... I'm sure there are much more ideas, probably as much as there are people with different minds... who care to think about it :-)
The most important is what I seek in my heart... to somehow know more God... a glimpse...cuz our human limitation is far from grasping it...well, I am... to be satisfied with the little I know, but knowing that there's so much more...:-)

"work"... gives me pleasure...I don't work for money...
I'm alive now, with 34... I've survived so far...:-)

Not permaculture nor anything define my life style... I don't like being put in a box either...but every phiilosophy, ideology, culture, sub-culture, belief system, etc..actually, every person... has something of good to learn from...
I don't think or claim to have reached any goal, but as a friend of Jesus once said : " I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal ..."
"Life is a learning curve" ... my best friend tells me that all the time :-)
Life is a journey, and we all have one...
bless you in yours...

David Juan said...

For some reason founding a Christian community makes me think of Francis of Assisi (Maybe from the Brother Sun movie). Wasn't one of his major motivations to offer an alternative to a life based on wealth? And, interestingly, part of his attraction. This is one of the strong points of Mount of Oaks. I have shared the example with a number of people who seem to think that life today is impossible without certain amenities.

Another important contribution is the activities that are offered occasionally, and very well organized.

Francis seemed to have had in mind that his community would simply live on charity. Other communities, as Barbara mentioned, support themselves by hard work. Here in Spain, Teresa of Avila seems to have been well connected and able to drum up support from the wealthy. The Moravians, with their 24/7 100-year prayer meeting, were a solid example of self-supporting simple living with a huge ministry of generosity.

I haven't been able to determine to what extent someone contemplating joining the M o O community would have a clear idea of what they were walking into in that respect. Maybe that is purposely being left undefined.

I pray that through community life and commitment there will be an increasingly bright light shining through Iberia and all of Europe.

Anonymous said...

Baba,

Gostei muito dos teus dois últimos artigos sobre a tua ideia de comunidade monástica.

Tens Cristo contigo e ele vive em ti e em todos nós.
Tenho muitas saudades vossas.Das aves e de todos os seres de Deus.Tom,and Huck.A Lugar Sagrado, a harmonia,Muita força para ti.Estás sempre no meu coração.Sorry, God Bless Us.

Poeta