Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude


Okay, more like Changes in Longitude--Tampa isn't that far south of us.

One thing I derived from my weekend was the need to strengthened my Carmelite vocation in everything I do. As a result, I decided to abandon my daily reading of In Conversation with God. This series of meditation is very powerful, very useful, and very helpful, but it is a different way of spirituality and hence somewhat subversive of the things I am called to practice as a Carmelite.

Carmelites occupy a great middle way of asceticism. The Saints adopted the practices of the Church during their times, but Carmel's way has never been one of extraordinary penance or mortification. Rather, Carmel's way has one ascetical point--prayer in solitude, prayer in the desert of the heart.

Now, this doesn't sound like much, but the practice of solitude and silence in the ordinary day of a married man (in my case) or woman is actually an enormous discipline. Try to find a space of two minutes when one thing or another isn't demanding your immediate attention. Physical solitude is a difficult thing to find, and it is an even more difficult thing to want when one has a spouse and a child as dear to them as mine are to me. Nevertheless, this is the ascetical practice to which I am called, and for which I will need to develop a plan.

As a result, the small mortification of the day, and penances, and other practices suggested by those with an Opus Dei spirituality, simply don't fit into the Carmelite way. They are not bad practices--indeed, they are very, very good practices, but one thing I am learning about vocation is that it must be observed with a laser beam focus if it is to mean anything. To this point I have had the focus of a bare light bulb. Light goes everywhere but does not illuminate much of anything well. A light bulb cannot be used to perform the surgery that true adherence to a vocation entails. The laser focus gives God the tool with which to remove the cataracts and restore vision. With that same light He purifies and refines until I am what He has called me to be.

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 6, 2006 9:10 AM.

God Spoke One Word was the previous entry in this blog.

Joyful Lent is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll