I thought again this afternoon how a person needs to be able to hear from their own insides what the Spirit is saying to them. This opinion means that you have to take a break from other people’s books and elder masters and just listen. To some extent, you have to leave “community” because you need to see what solitary listening is. Even sacred scripture and homilies and mother’s advice must be laid aside; so you can hear the love present in your own heart. For me, working on my own is something of the ultimate dogmatic challenge. The years of Roman Catholic hierarchy programmed me for believing the Church knew better than me. The years of Benedictine monastic life programmed me to believe I should be obedient to my superiors even if they were wrong; and that monks in community were the best kind of monks. The years of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) may have been helpful in that the Text claims the Holy Spirit and Jesus as Teacher and Guide; or harmful in that many ACIM teachers insist that you need a teacher. In Alcoholics Anonymous, they talk about having a sponsor, which I did for about the first 10 years. But now I have 23 years of sobriety; I don’t know anyone who knows more about the art of living sober than I do.
I risk sitting alone with my ego. I risk failure at the one area of life that interests me: God consciousness. I will take all I’ve learned in distance running, sobriety, monasticism, Catholicism, ACIM, engineering, fasting, contemplation and relationships; and let it integrate.
The result of integration is joy. I not only am certain of this, and completely know it, I trust my heart and my faith. I have completed every prayer possible except the one of my beating heart, my breathing lungs, my running footfall. Joy is my work. Joy is my practice. These prayers are my joy. Joy is my prayer. Not asking for it but living it, every moment. My joy is God’s joy. There is nothing else.
On a lighter note, I ran 16.2 miles this morning. I was industrious with my chores this afternoon. It is a sunny warm day and I completed the outside ladder work needed before winter. I am now ready for my right arm to be destroyed by surgery once again. I swept up another million “crop” bugs.