Peace of Heart

WHEN a man desires a thing too much, he at once becomes ill at ease. A proud and avaricious man never rests, whereas he who is poor and humble of heart lives in a world of peace. An unmortified man is quickly tempted and overcome in small, trifling evils; his spirit is weak, in a measure carnal and inclined to sensual things; he can hardly abstain from earthly desires. Hence it makes him sad to forego them; he is quick to anger if reproved. Yet if he satisfies his desires, remorse of conscience overwhelms him because he followed his passions and they did not lead to the peace he sought.

True peace of heart, then, is found in resisting passions, not in satisfying them. There is no peace in the carnal man, in the man given to vain attractions, but there is peace in the fervent and spiritual man.

Thomas Á Kempis

Winter

I’ve been a bit lazy in the cold weather lately. Just haven’t had the ambition to get outside with the camera.

Then I watched this video from Thomas Heaton. Kinda put me to shame. Beauty doesn’t go away just because it’s a little “chilly” outside.

There is Love…

All around, every day, there is God.

Driving in rush-hour traffic, looking over, and there it was…

The frozen river below, smoke rising from the chimneys on the city.


The day before yesterday,
walking round the cloisters,
where the brethren were sitting,
as it were a very garland of love,
I was gazing on them,
as one might admire in paradise
the leaves and flowers and fruit of
every individual tree,
and found none there whom I did not love,
and by whom I did not believe myself loved.
I was filled with joy...

-from “The Way of Simplicity”, Esther De Waal

Prayer and Work

In Monastic life according to Trappist tradition and the Rule of Saint Benedict, life consists of prayer, chanting the Psalms, and manual labor.

Ora et Labora

But the manual labor isn’t really a separate different thing. It’s really just a continuation of our main “work”, the prayer.

Cold

I feel cold just looking at them. Standing barefoot in ice water just doesn’t give me a . . . . . warm feeling!


Stillness

Do you desire, then, to embrace this life of solitude, and to seek out the blessings of stillness? If so, abandon the cares of the world, and the principalities and powers that lie behind them: free yourself from attachment to material things, from domination by passions and desires, so that as a stranger to all this you may attain true stillness. For only by raising himself above these things can a man achieve the life of stillness.

  • The Philokalia (Ancient Eastern Orthodox text)
Monastic life