Peaceful morning. I try to pray and I sit and nothing happens. Should I be upset? Is God to be subject to my command to appear and disappear on cue?
In the parlor some of the priests on retreat sit and chat about the standard concerns of the clergy: gutters, roofs, money.
I read Merton's Day of a Stranger, which I find in an anthology in the tired retreat house library. Nine stunning pages that I don't think get read often, perhaps because they are late, obscure, and confrontational in their ambiguity:
"The spiritual life is something people worry about when they are so busy with something else they think they ought to be spiritual."
"I an age where there is much talk about 'being yourself' I reserve the right to forget about being myself, since in any case there is very little chance of my being anybody else."
"Who was that hermitage I saw you with last night?"