It's Been A While... Thoughts from on the road...

It has been a while since I've made a blog entry. A lot has been happening.
For the past three months I've been on the road visiting colleges, retreat centers, churches and gatherings sharing a simple prayer of song and silence. The simplicity and beauty of this is something that nourishes and inspires. The music seems to be going deeper and deeper. And it's been very good to see old friends and to make new friends. How to express my gratitude ? The journey continues. Next stop - Harrisonburg, VA tomorrow night where a gathering of students, pastors, and friends will sing and pray the beginning of the season of Lent.

This Lent is a time to look inward and to realize even more deeply the direction and purpose of my life. " Deep Within a Song is Heard..." is the title of a new song. It expresses the joy and peace of hearing and following one's calling, no matter how confusing and contradictory it seems at times. This Easter time I plan to take traditional monastic vows as a first public step in living the life of a monk and in forming a monastic community here in the U.S. I cherish your prayers.

Why be a monk? To respond to this question I refer you to an interview between Oprah Winfrey - yes, Oprah Winfrey - and the Zen Buddhist monk Thick Nhat Hanh. His response to this question is simple: " to transform and heal oneself so that I can share this transformation and healing with others." A monk is someone who takes time to do this. There is no greater joy than this.

Looking ahead... I encourage you to be in the quiet during Lent, to be still, in the moment, to listen even more deeply to all that is within, and to be open to the voice of the One who loves you passionately, completely and always. This is the purpose of Lent - to let go of everything , yes, everything and choose that " one thing". There's a lovely phrase - " It's always been between you and God .." Lent is a time to renew this relationship and this love. Lent is a time to ignite the fire and become - a living flame.

Remember the story: Two monks were sitting quietly one evening when the younger monk said to the older: " What else should I do? I pray every day. I give money to the poor. I study the Bible . I work hard. I visit the sick. What else should I do? Upon hearing this, the older monk stood up and raise his hands to the sky . As he did his whole being became like fire and he said, " You could become a living flame."

In the Midst of It All...
The Love of God,
Your little brother,
Stefan Andre


Julia Bolton Holloway said...

Dearworthy Stefan,
We met in Philadelphia in November. Blessings on your becoming a monk. Perhaps explore http://www.umilta.net
including its http://www.umilta.net/cloister.html part.
Sister Julia in Florence, Italy

Fa Fields said...

Sunday evenings in Lent we're offering Sung Prayers. Last night while sharing what we are thankful for, someone said "silence".

Thank you for re-introducing worship that includes silence for listening and simply being with Spirit.