Sunday, January 11, 2009

Seeker & Doubter
poem by Peter Menkin
(revised January 2009)

Water springs
from pools deeply
hidden, refreshing
mortal companionship
with divine

Born, lived under,
died to be given
by the hand of God
a suspenseful dedication
in voice heard with promise:
they will never perish
sweet allowance, forgiveness
immortal. Wondering
may we live in within
your presence, Spirit come.

A revise of a longer version, posted here January 2009 because I like this short form. It says something about the relationship with God. Note the two icons by artist Zalewski taken from the internet. The first is a lovely color and for me is a Kingdom of God and creation image. The second of Christ's Baptism puts a slant on the poem making the waters mentioned in it Baptism. Since this is Epiphany, I decided to add the Baptism of Christ note--the illustration underlines.

But the poem is about waters that spring from abundance. When I first approached the Camaldoli monks, after an invitation, to become a postulant for Oblation I attended a Quiet Day at Incarnation Monastery, Berkeley, CA USA. It was there I talked with one of their order, Camaldoli, Benedictine Monk Father John about becoming a Postulant.

We discussed "The Woman at the Well," and waters of abundance. I must have said some things he thought worthwhile for a candidate, for he accepted me as a Postulant, to my joy! That was sometime in the early 1990s, and now it has been about 15 years as an Oblate, with prior to that a year of Postulancy. I am a Contemplative, or working at it, with faith in Christ and belief in the Trinity.

St. Romuald's Brief Rule For Camaldolese Monks

Sit in your cell as in paradise.
Put the whole world behind you and forget it.
Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish,
The path you must follow is in the Psalms — never leave it.

If you have just come to the monastery,
and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want,
take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart
and to understand them with your mind.

And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up;
hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.

Realize above all that you are in God's presence,
and stand there with the attitude of one who stands
before the emperor.

Empty yourself completely and sit waiting,
content with the grace of God,
like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing
but what his mother brings him.

Last two images are from (1) Immaculate Heart Hermitage, Big Sur, CA USA, and (2) Incarnation Monastery, Berkely, CA USA.

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