Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vista desde el Portal - The Spirit of the Place

Most recent Farolito Newsletter article:

I write this from the Benedictine Monastery in the Pecos. This is my second time here; third time if you count the time I went to Monastery lake and caught two fish. Each time I have come, I have sensed God’s presence in a powerful way.  There is something about the spirit of the place. Peacefulness strikes you when you drive in--strike is not the right word--instead, a weight is lifted; deep spiritual freedom and
awakening begins to emerge. Intimidating at first: the exterior walls are high and there are large old imposing wooden doors at the entrance. But, you enter and no person, rather the Spirit of the place, greets you. Here, nothing is expected of me, I am not responsible for anything except my own spiritual well being and practice, which, of course, I am not responsible for either, that is what God is up to. I have no goals; I am not trying to produce; I will just be.  If I decide to write or read, wonderful; if I just sit and watch and listen, wonderful.  This place has an intentional mandate: Live counter culturally! In a world that says our value is based on our production, our virtue, our accomplishments, this place says, because you are, you are of value. Simply “be.” Be aware of God's presence within and all around.  No
one seeks to interfere with what God has in store for me this day; but people are available to help in that process as the spirit leads. As I sat, and reflected and absorbed, I wondered: How is it that the spirit of this place can be so transformative and life giving?

While I have experienced God's presence at WPC, there have been many times when I, and others, have felt no shortage of anxiety and unrest at 841 W. Manhattan Ave. But, were I to ask: "Would you want to be part of the spirit of a place in which from the very moment you drive into the parking lot or walk into the building, you are deeply aware of God's presence within and all around?" Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

As the minister of WPC, I am inviting our community on a journey to discover how we all can participate in making the spirit of the place at our church something sacred, something transformative, something in which we are struck by God’s presence; or, rather, the burdens of the world are lifted when we are in that physical place and surrounded by the people there. Can we do it?  Desde la vista del portal, I must say, it will be a challenge. But, I believe that in our spiritually shallow world, this is our calling as the people of God. Over the next several months, in this section of the Farolito, and with church leaders, I will share observations from the Monastery, in hopes that some of that place may transform our own community.  Let us join with one another in prayer and expectation.
I would encourage any and all to take a day and spend time at the Pecos monastery–alone, with a friend, with family--go and be in that space and be open to encountering God.  If you would like for me to go with you as a companion, I would welcome the opportunity. La Paz de Dios esté con todos.

No comments:

Post a Comment