Making our Hearts a Hermitage

While on retreat, one of the monks offers a talk on spiritual matters for those who choose to attend. This week Fr. Carlos gave the talk. I like Fr. Carlos. Originally from the Philippines, he has been a monk at Gethsemani for 30 years. He is a wise and authentic man of God. Fr. Carlos said that we should all make our hearts a hermitage for God.
Hermitages are well know at Gethsemani. The most famous one is the one Thomas Merton stayed in. There are over a dozen hermitages on the Abbey property. Theses are secluded places where monks can go to be totally alone with God. They are places where one is utterly alone except with God.
There are many verses in scripture about opening our hearts to God. The idea of a heart as a place of quiet and rest where one can hear God’s voice above all others was intriguing to me.
We are all so busy, so distracted, our lives seem so complicated that it may be impossible for us to open our hearts so that God can do something with us. That is one of the reasons I come to the montastery every year. Here is where I hear God’s voice so clearly.
The Psalmist calls us to be still and know that I am God. I want my heart to a hermtiage for Christ.

Pictured above is the Abbey Church. I took the picture yesterday afternoon. If you look very closely, you will see a monk sitting all by himself praying. This is how we make our hearts a place for God.
I count it all joy,
Pastor Vallerie

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