The Contemplative Ideal living in the world : LUSENET : Catholic Pages Forum : One Thread

During my romantic teenage years I thought I'd be a Poor Clare or a Benedictine, but my pastor who, oddly, could never remember my name and always called me "Maiden", suggested that I was too boistrous for the cloister and might want to consider joining the US Navy! Now, I'm twice that age and thoroughly "in the world" but I find my heart still seeks quiet and solitude and contemplation...the twice yearly retreats (which I made even when I was a "bad" catholic, just so I could take afternoon naps) don't seem to be enough anymore, and I find myself booking single days of prayer or silence. More and more, it's like Jesus and Mary are turning me toward them - I love it. Is anyone else finding the call to silence and solitude? Maybe it's gone full circle, and the lay people will become the contemplatives! :)

-- Anonymous, June 16, 1998


I believe many lay people are living contemplative lives. The religious certainly do not have a corner on the market ! I love having certain quiet days of prayerful solitude too and I know others who do the same. In fact, I know several folks who live very contemplative lives day in and out.

Have you ever reconsidered entering the convent? One of the most marvelous and spirtual sister I ever met was a "late vocation" She was a grandmother and a widow when she entered the Benedictines of Queen of Angels abbey at age 48.

-- Anonymous, June 17, 1998

"Response to The Contemplative Ideal living in the world"

Connie, thanks for the suggestion! With two young children and a husband I adore the convent is not practical, but it's a fun idea to contemplate! :)

-- Anonymous, June 17, 1998

Hi Dana,

You are not alone in your spiritual feelings. I might suggest that you pray for guidence and seek God's will. Also a Spiritual director may be of some help. You might also consider the Third Order of Carmel.

-- Anonymous, June 21, 1998

Contemplative Ideal living in the world

Hi Rich, Third Order of CARMEL? There's more????? Aw, now I'm gonna be searching the web for another week! LOL!!! Thanks, Rich!

-- Anonymous, June 22, 1998

Dana, here is another idea you might consider. Do you have any local contemplatives near you? Or at least in reasonable distance? Many houses of prayer also have secular groups attached to them and you might be able to become part of one. The Benedictines over at Mt Angel here in Oregon have such a group and I know of others that also do so. One more thing...even if the Order is connected with "peace and justice" work, they are still very interested in promoting a prayerful existence. Its worth looking into.

-- Anonymous, June 22, 1998

Connie, that sounds really interesting! So, if I were to phone the local church office and say I'm looking for 'local contemplatives' or 'houses of prayer' would they know what I mean? Or are there other 'official' terms?

-- Anonymous, June 22, 1998

The Contemplative Ideal...

Dear Dana - I am a little behind reading the bulletin board, and just read this posting. I was struck by the similarity of what you said to how I often have been feeling. It seems like the more I become centered on my relationship with God, the less I feel at home in the world, and the more I enjoy serenity and solitude with Him. But isn't that a grace that we pray for - detachment from the world? It seems like that is the source of your feeling a need for quiet and prayer time.

I guess the trick is, learning to continue that detachment, while still being a good wife, mother, person in the world. I read a passage in Ecclesiastes the other day that made me think how important it is to keep firmly rooted where God has put us right now: (11:4) "One who pays heed to the wind will not sow, and one who watches the clouds will never reap." Sometimes I find myself getting a little too much off in the clouds - I don't know if you feel that way.

On the other hand, I think one important thing I hope to teach my children is an example of centering myself not on this world, but on God's kingdom.

I don't know if any of this hits the mark with you...


-- Anonymous, June 28, 1998

Dana, Are you aware there is a publication/directory of all the dioceses of the states? It lists all the diocesan offices, parishes,schools and religious orders. Names and numbers galore! My advice is that you either see if your parish has this book ( its huge) and then ask if you could sit a bit with it and look up the areas around you. Its a great resource. I am ashamed I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it. 'National Catholic Directory" is all I can think of...I pray this helps! E-mail me if you wish to do so.

-- Anonymous, June 29, 1998

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