Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

The fight

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The call can be strong even insistent in its pursuit
yet I often ignore, or perhaps run from the freedom offered,
as if I prefer my chains of petty concerns and fears
to the wide open spaces offered to me by grace,
locked behind a door that I have the key to, often not used.

I am often a stranger to myself,
needing to be re-introduced over and over again,
for when I am foolish enough to think I know myself
I am quickly brought to my knees,
so slow is the journey towards the light.

I am at times overwhelmed by graces patience,
sense I have little understanding of the nature of love,
well infinite love,
something deep, bottomless, inexorable in its wooing,
running me down until I say “enough”,
and perhaps for a time walk the path towards the light,
until the irrational,
the fearful,
the childish once again awakes:
“deal with me” it whines.

So the wheel turns,
will I ever find rest (?),
or perhaps I have it already,
it is just my spirit and soul are still so young;
so mercy is always offered.

I am sure there are many who run the straight path,
disciplined in their progression,
they are called saints,
I am just neurotic,
yet I am not sure I would have any other way,
each different,
yet the same mercy and love offered.

So I stumble forward,
thankful for the grace and love offered,
knowing that we are all on the road together
brothers and sisters,
humanity,
beloved by God, though we stumble and fall,
and are at times consumed by our passions,
of hate and greed.

Perhaps we are all young,
so childish perhaps in different ways,
often times not understanding what we are doing,
or the harsh judgments often dished out towards others,
thinking truth resides in our hearts,
and not in those judged.

Life perhaps about something more,
deeper than what we can ever hope or conceive,
something glorious that we all stumble towards,
with the saints showing us the way.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery

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