The Mountains are still snow covered here -
by Randy Iwanciwski
What about this Contemplation? - by Piotr Rajski
and I wait in anticipation for the hike.
Many people look to Nature for God, I am among those people also. My joy in living so near the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies give a face of God to view every day. People travel for kilometers to see what I get to wake up to every morning. Yes the mountains are a show of strength, stability and security, all very good things that God possesses.
As we near the spring season here in the mountains, I am greatly anticipating our pilgrimage and can't wait to share this joy with others.
Of course to climb such a majestic piece of God's handiwork automatically puts one's being into a humbled state. The awesomeness, grandeur and grace of this mountain simply touch one's soul. It is so easy to believe in God with this one example basically out my back door.
So now the next leap of faith is when we come back down, so to speak, to the valley. Will we leave God up there at the top of the mountain? There is a tendency to do so of course but I have been called to say no. Our God is all around us, in us and in our neighbors. As humans we have a tendency to minimize God into the size and shape needed to fit us. God is called upon only when needed, yet we tend to forget His grace and guidance is with us at all times. We seem to forget this.
So at many times in our life's journey we have to be reminded of Gods unconditional love. It may be a new life born into a family, a cure for an illness or prayers answered. So we should remember God is with us in times of trouble also with death, pain, suffering and loss. These valleys may become deep and far removed from a loving God but when you are face down and feel abandoned or lost, this is when God will say; “Now you are listening, I can talk to you now!”
In essence God should not be placed on the mountain for He is already there, nor in the valleys He is already there, nor far away in some Heaven, He is already there. We must seek God in our own heart; He is already there, for He created us in His image. We must then call upon our God simply from our own heart. Again the mountain “Roche Miette” is one of many gentle reminders that God is with us. Never failing never leaving always near, we just simply have to call. Yes as close as our own hearts!
To take this one step further, seek God in your family, friends and neighbors. Help them too seek God in their own hearts. He uses us as broken and frail as we are to spread His word of life, healing, peace, joy and love. Again I pray for the success of our hike to beautiful Roche Miette, to gain another experience of God and to share it with others, others of my family, we are the children of God. He created all of us.
What about this Contemplation?
The purpose of our Pilgrimage is to hike Roche Miette, sit in quiet
contemplation for 20 minutes, and see if exposed to the beauty of God's
Garden around this mountain we could create this sense of human and spiritual
unity among ourselves. For those of you who may ponder what contemplation
is I attach the following quotations:
Contemplation is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life (...). It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being precede from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant source. Thomas Merton, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.276.
Contemplation is a gift of God, in which the soul, purified by His infused love, suddenly and inexplicably experiences the presence of God within itself. Merton, Thomas. Bread In The Wilderness. P. 143. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <email@example.com
Closing your eyes, ears and mouth, peep within yourself. Inner Spiritual Power shall spring forth and Lord's vision shall be revealed. You shall even be able to hear Him and talk with Him. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1852.
Contemplation is a long, loving look at the real. Ascribed to William McNamara.
Close your eyes. Half of the world disappears, because we think most of what we see. (...) Choose a sacred word of one or two syllables that you feel comfortable with. (...) Keep thinking this sacred word. (...) As you go to a deeper level of reality, you begin to pick up vibrations that were there all the time but not perceived. This broadened perspective gives you a chance to know both yourself and God in a new way. Thomas Keating, Finding Grace at the Centre, P.25.
Naturally contemplation, as any other form of conversation with God, is something very personal. To try to contemplate together is a great challenge. We may come from different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. In addition, each of us may be on a different stage of progression toward God. Some of us are ready and open for this inner, direct communication with God, while others may feel more comfortable with the traditional customs of organized religions. Still others may not be ready for God at all. During the Roche Miette Pilgrimage we try to be sensitive to all these conditions. That is why we invite you to silence, quiet togetherness in the presence of God, and only if you feel comfortable to do so. Participation in the contemplation is entirely optional.
More about contemplation and other forms of devotion may be found on One God Site.
With Love and Support, Piotr Rajski.
The rest of the Newsletter No.4 exactly like in the Newsletter No.3, January 2002.