Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Silent Life Chapter 1 The Monastic Peace

Purity of Heart

Solitude, poverty, obedience, silence ad prayer dispose the soul for (its) destiny in God. Asceticism itself does not produce Divine union. It only disposes the soul for union, The carious practices of monastic asceticism are more or less valuable to the monk in proportion as they help him to accomplish the inner and spiritual work that needs to be done to make his soul poor, and humble and empty, in the mystery of the presence of God. When ascetic practices are misused, they serve only to fill the monk with himself and to harden his heart is resistance to grace. That is why all monastic asceticism centers in the two great virtues of humility and obedience which cannot be practiced as they ought to be practiced, if they do not empty a man of himself.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Silent Life by Thomas Merton - Part 1.

A series of quotes (and possibly reflections) as we pursue this text.

From the Prologue:

The monk is one who leaves behind the fictions and illusions of a merely human spirituality in order to plunge himself into the faith of Christ. Faith is the light which seizes upon the inner depths of his soul na delivers him up to the action of the Spirit, the Spirit of liberty, the Spirit of Love. Faith takes him, as the power of God took the ancient prophets, and "Stands him on his feet (Ezch. 2:2) befor the Lord. The monastic life is a life in the Spirit of Christ, a life in which the Christian gives themselves entirely to the love of God which transforms him in the light of Christ.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Have updated some of the books and CD's we've been listening to lately -
right hand side, just scroll down..

And yes, now some of them are finally done!

Friday, January 12, 2007

he's here

Peter Waller, artist and sculptor extra-ordinary, is staying with us a few days. Pete was a member of the community last couple of years,while he was studying Fine Arts at Curtin University. Last year he moved to Tasmania (sob sob!) to do honours, and now, post graduate work in scultpture, using the university's excellent wood working studios.

Pete is in WA for his first solo Exhibition at Gallery East. Click on the link and check out his beautiful work, and the lovely 15th Century Zen prints which and being co - exhibited.

Pete is also reading Thomas Mertons "Mystics and Zen Masters"
Anyone had a read? It looks amazing!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Best Spiritual Advice You've Ever Been Given...

Lets put together a compendium of advice we've been given that REALLY helped us grow.Email me or comment and I'll put it up.

I'd like to say it was "Shut up!" but in fact it was from a Benedictine monk and was "You must attend to all the dimensions of your life - physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, psychological, relational - if any of these are out of balance, then its tough going".
This stopped me worrying about alot of things, taught me to take one thing at a time, and look at myself with honesty.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Vows from the past

Thining about the year again, here's some of the promises we made as a community 18 months ago. Worth remonding ourselves of these again...
(If you want to read the original post it is here)

Although we have been meeting together for the last 7 years - can you believe it? - last night we celebrated our First anniversary as the Transfiguration Community. To mark this occasion, we made promises, not vows, to support our community life. Here is what we promised:

We will honor:T
he light of our Benedictine Heritage.
May we always value silence, stillness and prayer

The light of Hospitality.
May we always nourish one another.

The light of Relationship.
May we always remember to value one another, married or Single.

The light of compassion.
May we always be generous in our care for one another.

The light of work.
May we always value each others occupations and activities.

The light of our children.
May we always see them as gifts from God.

The light of faithfulness
May we continue to be faithful to our community life.

The light of honesty
May we continue to share with humor and truthfulness.

The light of Openness.
May we always be open to the work of the Spirit within us.

The light of newness
May our minds not be closed to the adventure of faith.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Can we be killed by the hero's we love? Authentic Spiritual life and finding our own way...

Right folks. January seems a good time for this sort of reflection as we ponder the year ahead as individuals and as a community...

No one is a Christian in isolation. We are all instructed in the way of Christ in someway. For some, it is a personal contact, for others it is growing up in a family of faith where many points of contacts are made. Others may pick up a book which changes their life and want to find more, or an Internet page, or radio broadcast or an mp3 or in fact anything where we dialogue with someones experience in some way and allow it to speak. whatever the medium, somehow we here the message of Gods love from another and it changes us. And we keep on this road until we take our final breath...

This is all wonderful and appropriate and absolutely necessary (as we all know). And a Christian community like ours, where questions are the bread and butter of our life together, are essential. But there is a danger, and it worries me from time to time when i come across certain web pages, or articles, or books. It is the matter of Adoration. Let me explain. It is way to easy too read about the "Giants " of the faith (whatever that means to us - whether it be Augustine, Frances de Sales, Merton or John Paul 2, our minister or priest, or even another Christian...) and think to ourselves "They did x, y and z and that led them to holiness. by copying them i will too...".

Now imitation is the most sincere more of flattery, and of great use as we start our journey, but at some point we have to say "I am me. This is my way. God is with me. So be it" and use the skills and lessons we have learnt from others. Now, please don't get me wrong, I am not against the church setting up guidelines which point out what is helpful - eg the Eucharist, Reading the Bible, the Liturgical year - but all of these things need to take place within the context of our own slow and steady "working out our salvation in fear the trembling". None of this is an excuse to not do our homework theologically speaking. All of our thinking needss to be a balance of head and heart, with a good pinch of risk taking!

I suppose I am thinking about this year ahead as a community. We need not be anything other than we are, and part of that is a discovery! We have a wonderful set of ecumenical menotrs to guide and love us. We need to see what is us, and what isn't, who we are, and above all, pray and trust, and move forward.

Lets Dialogue.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

latest sites

Heres a few interesting Sites checked out lately

Louis Louis Exploring contemplative awareness in daily life, drawing from and with much discussion of the writings of Thomas Merton, aka "Father Louie".

CathNews Catholic Headlines from around the world. A wonderful Australian site.

JC Girls This is a little bizzare, but worth a look. Three women from California created JC's Girls as an outreach to the adult entertainment industry. Being mistaken for porn stars is actually part of their strategy...

Hope ya all well

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Community New Years Eve

We only took a few photos but hopefully you get the idea it was a fun night!