I want to start this blog with a quote from Ronald Rohleiser, a contemporary Catholic spiritual writer. In his book “The Shattered Lantern” he observes that Western culture has a very reduced experience of God. “God is present to us but we are no longer present to God because we are no longer contemplative. We have atrophied contempative muscles. Our contemplative faculty, like a limb that has b een immobilized in a cast for a long time and is now healed and healthy but unable to function without rehabiliation, needs exercise and therapy.” I guess this puts in a nutshell, that concern I have for men. There is a desparate need to help men on the contemplative journey. I have been on this journey for over 25 years. I know the struggles and difficulties of breaking out of “the conventional spiritual box,” into the freedom and light of contemplative lifestyle. I consider myself a beginner, who has logged some miles through desert and darkness, eventually coming into a spacious place in God. I have a long ways to go on the journey. But the culimination of my journey thus far has as been the joy of “knowing that I have a Father who delight in me.” Thus, my burden to share this with men.
Rohleiser addresses the unbelief among believers regarding the presence of God in their lives. The disappearance of God from ordinary experience is ” a problem with contemplation. The eclipse of God is the eclipse of contemplation.” A contemplative is one who has experienced God at the deep level of the heart, learning to see that which is invible and hear that which is inaudiable. I now believe that the great Catholic theological Karl Rahner was right when he said, “the Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic.” We live in a day that places an overload on all of our senses. We hear, see, and experience much more than we can ever process. There are many expressions of spirituality calling for our attention. Many Christain men have become numbed by this bombardment of spiritual stimulation. In all of this the soul or heart seem to be neglected, while the mind becomes confused as to how to proceed on the journey. The cry is for a contemplative voice to be heard. This blog is one small voice in the wilderness.
I am using this present post to end my series on having ” A Father who delights in us.” I have reread the past six posts. I feel they express some of my burden to help men have a taste of the contemplative way. I guess this excerise has clarified for me that on this blog site, I am expressing a desire to help men center into a contemplative expression of faith. A wildman will be a contemplative in the days to come. I want you to know that this in counter-culture and even counter-intuitive to what we have learned as men in our present day culture. A man who reads the blog concerning “the wildman journey” is listening to the spirit of God calling him to leave behind some of the old and to move out into a new frontier. It is said of Abraham, “By faith, Abraham went called to go to place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going’ (Heb. 11:8)
Men, God has a spiritual inheritance for you to experience on the contemplative journey. We are not talking about something new. This journey has a long historic expression in the church. In our day there is a wonderful rediscovery of the classic spiritual tradition that is being uncovered by many wonderful catholic and evangelical writers. They are exposing us to a lost spiritual tradition, and expressing the contemplative life in terms that relate to modern culture. I have drunk deeply from this expression. It has changed my life. I have seen men who have struggled with their spiritual life come alive when they are exposed to something that had been hidden for so long. I guess, when I stumbled unto the contemplative trail back in the early 80’s little did I realize that I would be actually posting blogs to men in cyberspace who are searching for a better way. Stay tuned for more to come!!