Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(1) Quo Vadis ?

Where am I going? Actually the question peers back as well as
forward. So, first, where have I been? After snow-birding out in
Southern California, where I have a large and loving extended
family, I decided to move away from the Washington area and
settle permanently in the San Diego region. That was some 15
years ago--and until this very day I remain happy with this
decision to move West.

Volunteering in my new community, I spent at least a dozen years
as a trained docent naturalist--first serving at the San Diego
Natural History Museum and later with California State Parks
at the Tijuana River National Estaurine Research Reserve.
I felt this community service appropriate for one who honors
the Benedictine Tradition with its emphasis on community
and so many facets of such.

Additionally  I am connected with a Communion that historically
has come forth from the Benedictine Tradition; and, also,  I
befriended an inter-faith  congregation which serves both as a
fellowship and an academy,  These communal connections consist
of friendly people who enjoy one another, sometimes study together,
and oft are engaged in social justice projects.

We live in a Craftsman bungalow, a Greene & Greene architectual
design featuring natural light and materials. And I added lots more
outdoor living space by building a small park of patios, tropical
trees and plants, where I can sit, be quiet, and truly enjoy the birds
and the butterflies. My little dog rolls in the grass and makes me
laugh. It's a place of peace and beauty, perhaps reminiscent of
those Benedictine gardens of old.

As for my monastic orientation, alas I am too far away from the
nearest monastery. And I no longer feel comfortable driving any
great distance on the freeways. But I have found the "virtual
world" of the WEB. I start my mornings by visiting a favorite
monastery's website, where I can listen to their Lauds beautifully
sung. And there's Vespers at night, sung by many Benedictine
communities on YouTube. Also, I have begun providing myself
with occasional "retreats" via YouTube, finding marvelous
monastic presentations by renown monks and other religious.
Indeed, there's a lot of different possibilities to engage the
monastic life aboard the WEB, and actually forge shared
friendships. This new technological outlet may be a godsend
for those now elderly or unable to find an immediate monastery.

And all these years I have stayed true to my commitment towards
"my" Pantocrator, the Lord of the Universe, who I have studied
from lots of different perspectives. Again, working into websites
and blogsites, I have written a fairly large amount of essays and
stories that are mostly about "Seeking God" from various angles.
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing these essays and stories,
giving freely of my time and energy to do so.

However, I do wonder if I can squeeze out another story, in
which I try to make complex issues more comprehensible in
straightforward language. I may have reached my zenith, but
we will see. As for my essays, I've touched upon all sorts
of subject matter. I still will have three on-going essay
sites. One is past-oriented, relating ancient Scripture to
our own modern knowledge-base; another is future focused,
discussing cutting-edge mostly scientific theoretics that
somehow manages to connect with the Mystery that presides
over the All of us. And I'll continue my sojourner collection,
where I continue to seek and sift through the seemingly
never ending path that I trod.

Finally, quite awhile ago I completed my "Benedictine Beacon"
essay site. Over the years I compiled a fairly large library
of books by Benedictine authors. These books were a big assist
in terms of my own monastic-oriented formation. So I decided
to share the thoughts of some of these books on this particular
essay site as well as my own commentaries. Perhaps they might
prove helpful to others, as these great Benedictine books
proved helpful to me.

Now at the end of this journal, I can only reiterate over
and over what a wonderful treasure I discovered in the great
Benedictine Tradition.