From Isaac of Stella

"So, brother, make for yourself a hidden place within yourself, in which you can flee away from yourself and pray in secret to the Father." Isaac of Stella

Passing From Self to God: A Cistercian Retreat, Robert Thomas, OCSO Cistercian Press, 2006, p. 4

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die...

I am currently reading through "Passing From Self To God: A Cistercian Retreat" as part of my lenten regime.  There is an amazing congruence with the philosophy of Schopenhauer and the bits of Meister Eckhart I have read.  This congruence reinforces for me that I am on the right path, and that the divine union which I desire is something real and capable of being achieved.  I have also resumed the practice of saying the morning and evening prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours.  I used to love this practice, but during my years of skepticism it became distasteful to me.  I had whole-heartedly embraced the critique of the emperor Julian and Celsus, and so the psalms and readings sounded hollow and false to my ear.  Now that I have found a way back, with the help of Schopenhauer and no doubt the prayers of many who love me, I can once again enjoy the prayers.  Enjoyment is not the primary goal of life, but enjoying God, loving and appreciating Him and the things he brings is only right and proper.  He is indeed gracious and loving, and all good things come from him.  Like the Stoics teach, all that leads to virtue is "good".  Like Schopenhauer teaches, all that decreases the focus on the individual egoism of the self and increases the cognizance of the unity of the Will in all is "good".  Like Jesus, unless a man dies to himself and rises up in Christ he cannot know God, who is the fount of all good.

Lord God, Divine Logos
It is right always and everywhere to give you thanks and praise
We live in the realms of space and time, but you, like the "thing in itself" exist in eternity and without dimensions.  You are a spirit, and have not a body like men.  That is, until Jesus, and so you have now taken the scales of divine justice and weighted them down with the infinity and eternity of yourself.  What is the suffering of the old man in comparison with that?
May you be ever praised!
May you be ever adored!
May your goodness, your beauty be always before my eyes
May I return to you, pitiful though it is, such love as I have.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.

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