Concluding Thoughts - Philip McShane - 15th May 02 : LUSENET : Experience into Words : One Thread

Some thoughts on our group work in this seminar—which also applies in some way to the von Balthasar seminar.

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to reflect together with a group over a considerable length of time. I feel it is a fundamental place for turning over the things of life in the light of some kind of presence of the Gospel, in the presence of God. This I feel is a very central thing to do. I greatly appreciate, too, the quality of the participation, how much of our lives we were able to share with one another, our deepest aspirations, our hopes, our experiences, our difficulties… and, somehow, all of it taken up into the "good space" that opens up between us when we sit down together... and the time comes for individual conversations to fall silent, and for the considerations of our common being together open up and have the floor. I appreciate, too, the silence that descends as we read one another’s contributions. It is not just a "neutral" silence, the absence of noise. It is a welcoming and fruitful silence in which many things are taken in and pondered, wondered about, and out of which grows compassionate and reflective response: silence in which the weight of things is registered and in which we adjust to what is coming to us. I think that all of this is a contemplative aspect of our being together: the aspect which allows things to come to us, the depth in which things are received, and wonderful place at the heart of all our considerations from which our responses come. There is, too, an active aspect to our seminar: our writing. There is work here, real work (which I have too often avoided — fruit of long habit in my case). It is a work of putting stuff out there where it can be seen. This takes courage. And I hope that we can continue to do it, if not in this forum. By the way, I intend leaving this internet forum open for the future, for as long as the members actually continue to contribute to it. I don’t see this as and end in itself. It contributes to our growth, both individually and collectively. But, beyond that, it is a stepping stone to allowing our reflections to become part of larger ruminations, the ruminations in which our whole world is turned over in the heart, the ruminations in which all that is is seen in the interiority of God’s heart, that is to say in the place where it is most lovingly cherished. So I hope that we would contribute our reflections to wider forums, in print, in discussion, in groups… wherever things need to be pondered deeply, taken into a great and cherishing place and be spoken about, have words put on them. All this is the prophetic aspect of things: putting words on the world as caringly seen in God.

-- Anonymous, May 15, 2002

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