'The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross'
'An Ocean Of Light' by Martin Laird
'Human Nature from Calvin to Edwards' by Paul Helm
'Theoretical-Practical Theology: Prolegomena' Volume 1 by Petrus van Mastricht Translated By Todd M. Rester
'The Works Of William Perkins' Volume Six Edited By Joel R. Beeke And Greg A. Salazar
It is in the death flow 11:14 AM late Saturday morning. Outside this morning it is cold and partly sunny. It seems to me there is more cloud cover than actual sunlight this morning. But at least it is not snowing right now outside.
I got up this morning around 7 o'clock AM. I got up ate breakfast and messed with our main computer. After messing with our main computer I wrote in my paper diary and read. I also made a video this morning for my Youtube channel.
Carol got home from work around 8:45 AM and went to bed around 9:30 AM. I have been mainly wandering the house and reading from a book titled, 'An Ocean Of Light: Contemplation, Transformation, and Liberation' by Martin Laird.
I plan to do nothing today but drift. We are already in the middle of the month. It will soon be over.
Last night I read 'The Spiritual Canticle' by St John of the Cross and went to bed my normal time. Now it is another day to face what comes my way.
Carol works tonight and tomorrow night, then she is off seven nights from work. Next month Carol will be only working part-time and drawing social security. We are old people now. Who will go first Carol or me?
I suppose I will close to drift.
"6. Besides this habitual satisfaction and peace, the flowers of the vir- tues of this garden are so wont to open within her and spread their fra-grance, it seems - and so it is - that she is filled with the delights of God.
And I said that the flowers of the virtues within her are wont to open, because even though she is filled with perfect virtues she is not always enjoying them actually although, as I said, she ordinarily does enjoy the peace and tranquility they cause. We can say that in this life they are present in the soul as flower buds in a garden. It is sometimes a wonderful thing to see them all open through the Holy Spirit and diffuse a marvelous variety of fragrance.
The soul will behold in herself the mountain flowers mentioned above, which are the abundance, grandeur, and beauty of God; and, intertwined among them, the lilies of the wooded valleys, which stand for rest, refreshment, and protection; and next, interspersed there, the fragrant roses of the strange islands, referring to the strange knowledge of God. Then too she will be struck by the scent of the lilies beside the resounding rivers, which we said represented the greatness of God filling every soul. And she will perceive from the jasmine interwoven there a fragrance diffused by the whistling of love-stirring breezes, which we also said the soul enjoys in this state. Likewise she is aware of all the other virtues and gifts we mentioned: the tranquil knowledge, silent music, sounding solitude, and the delightful and loving supper.
And sometimes her experience and enjoyment of these flowers united together is such that she can very truthfully say: "Our bed is in flower, bound round with linking dens of lions." Happy is the soul who in this life merits at some time the enjoyment of the fragrance of these divine flowers!" 'The Spiritual Canticle' Stanza 24 section 6 St John of the Cross
It is 6:17 PM Saturday evening here. I just heard Carol's alarm go off for the fifth time. She is slowing getting up to face her work night. I am getting fresh pot of coffee ready for her.
I wanted to jot down some thoughts on Spiritual direction before they disappear from sight. I have been reading a lot lately Christian Spirituality and it dawned on me this evening that I use to think about becoming a Spiritual Director. Now that was many years ago when I considered being a Spiritual Director, because now that is beyond my personal calling. My personal calling these days is to live how I have been living since I left the work world back in June 2007. I am seeking to live a simple middle class Christian life during the last days of the American Empire. From my perspective America is doomed and will never regain its greatness in the eyes of the world. America has become a sinister joke since it elected Trump to be President (a world leader).
Getting back to spiritual direction I thought of making a video tonight where I share with Youtube how I got into Spiritual Direction and why I never become one (Spiritual Director). Many years ago I did start taking classes on becoming a Spiritual Director with the Dominican Order, but never finished the courses. The major reason why I stopped going to these Spiritual Direction classes was because the Bible was ignored. The people I talked to during the Spiritual Direction classes had no knowledge of the Bible. I thought to myself how can one give spiritual direction to people if you do not have a knowledge of the Bible? How can one come to a spiritual knowledge of God if one does not know the teachings of the Bible?
Anyway more could be written, but Carol is up and I have to spend time with her before she rushes off to work.
It is Now 8:02 PM Saturday night, Carol has left for work. I will hopefully see her tomorrow morning around 9 o'clock AM. I could die in my sleep or there could be a terrorist attack at the hospital where Carol works. We are surrounded by madmen and madwomen. We have to trust the Lord to watch over us and our loved ones in these dangerous times.
So earlier I was writing about the spiritual disciple of soul care or spiritual direction. It was because of all my intensive reading in spiritual direction that caused me to reexamine why I was going to church on Sundays. I was told for years in preparing for the Christian Ministry that a minister is to provide spiritual care to his congregation. Not only is the head minister to provide soul care to his flock but also the ruling elders and deacons. But what I experienced in churches was no one on one spiritual care or pastoral oversight. The churches we were members of over the years the ministers made real no effort to provide pastoral care for me or my family.
Now once a year two elders would make a house visit and ask us questions about the church like do we like the preaching etc. . . One the two elders would read a couple verses from the Bible and say a short prayer and then they would leave for their next house visit. That was the sum total of our pastoral care or spiritual direction for that year. Basically we were left out in the American Wasteland to keep ourselves spiritual healthy. In Protestant churches there is the view that Sunday sermons is all a minister needs to do in order to provide spiritual care for his congregation. As long as the minister preaches a sermon or two a week he has fed the flock and now it is up to them to live the Christ like life.
Now a church might have throughout a week Wednesday prayer meeting or a Bible Study for church members to attend if they can find time after working eight hour that day and rushing home from work to eat a meal and spend some time with the wife and kids before going to bed for the night. In the end it seems to me the typical American life for most Christians does not allow time for a spiritual life in a visible church community. I personally do not think Christians in general have any biblical understanding of what it means to live a Christ like life. We are all just praying and hoping we make it to the Pearly Gates when we die.
Any way back to spiritual direction, I have come to accept the reality no ones care for my soul except my wife. Well I believe the Lord cares for my soul or my growth in grace and knowledge of divine realities. But in the end I am alone as I travel to the heavenly City of God. This verse just came to my mind from the Gospel of Luke "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" Luke 15:10; "I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance" Luke 15:7; "It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found" Luke 15:32.
The Lord has found me and now I am to rest in Him till He calls me out of this life to the world to come.
I will close to brush my teeth and as we quickly approach the End. "Abide in Me, and I in you" John 15:4.
reflections on spiritual direction or soul care
'The Collected Works of St John of the Cross'
'The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality' Editor Michael Downey
'An Ocean Of Light: Contemplation, Transformation, and Liberation' by Martin Laird
'Spiritual Direction' by Martin Thornton
'The Ascent To Truth' by Thomas Merton
'The Mystical Evolution in the Development and Vitality of the Church' Two Volumes By Fr. John G. Arintero, O.P. Translated by Fr. Jordan Aumann,O.P.
I suppose I made this video to encourage Christians who are not receiving pastoral care to read good Christian books that will take the place of Spiritual Directors. We as Christians do not have to give up seeking spiritual development just because we have been forgotten by our local church leaders. We as Christians can find guidance in solid Christian books on the Christian life. On how to get closer and closer to the Lord Jesus. Instruction on a life of unceasing prayer. There are good books on the contemplative life out there in the fallen world. Today there are churches with spiritual directors and classes on Christian Spirituality. We must go out and look for these spiritual resources. Also pray to the Holy Spirit to lead you to Christians who are God lovers. Seek out Christians that love the secret place of prayer.