September 13, 2012

My Blog Now Being All Stilled

I think that this blog has grown a little boring. I just don't have as much to say as I used to. Back when I was a new priest and working in the parish I was full of opinions and often full of spiritual reflections. Now, after the false start as a doctoral student and being summoned to serve at our general curia in Rome, there just isn't that much. Or at least there aren't the same sort of rants and reflections that made this blog what it was when it was going strong.

And what of it? Perhaps my current situation, i.e. the adjustment to living in Rome and the work of learning the language with all of the associated interior and exterior stresses are just taking up the capacity of my soul. Or perhaps, as I have come to suspect, I am being drawn into a new sort of what John of the Cross calls the 'passive nights.'

I was thinking about this the other day when a little of 1 Corinthians 13 was the reading for Sext. Knowledge--gnosis--will go away. Then there is only love. This then is the asceticism for someone who enjoys having something deep--or at least clever--to say. To love God and to embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ without the deal having been made with the flesh and its vanity that it will receive a thoughtful blog post in return for its suffering.

Cualquier gusto que se le ofreciere a los sentidos, como no sea puramente para honra y gloria de Dios, renúncielo y quédese vacío de él por amor de Jesucristo. (Ascent of Mt. Carmel, 1,13,4)

"Renounce and remain empty of any sensory satisfaction that is not purely for the honor and glory of God. Do this out of love for Jesus Christ" (trans. ICS)

To me that's the active night. As John says, the passive nights are more awful and terrifying. But they are the work of God in his jealousy for souls. And from that little knowledge can come much trust. So thanks also for your prayers.

We adore you, most holy Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all your churches throughout the world, and we bless you, because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.


Greg said...

The "passive nights" is a wonderful concept.

That can happen. Also, as one moves to new surrounds, one is out of the common reality with readers.

There is a shift and perhaps one wonders how to minister from a distance.

Perhaps during contemplative periods, passive nights, it is the small questions that beg airing.

A Deacon was promoting his favorite practice - the path of Ignatius a couple mornings ago. He took pride in how it was practical and applied... then he stopped and realized he had no argument against my Franciscan view, as it was even more geared to applied faith.

My curiosity takes me to the work of Benedict XVI, The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure. The Pope speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit in the present... and one cannot help but wonder what that appears to be at a ground level in Rome at this time.

Hesiodos said...

Allow me to share what I get from your blog....
A window into the life of a man striving to complete his conversion in Christ through St Francis and through the human/divine institutions of the church

An example to comfort me me in my own imperfect strivings and humanity

A vision of what the inner world of those mysterious clerical folks is like, and so helps me to sympathize and understand what I see them do and say.

I hope you will continue


Cole Matson said...

Fr Charles,

Yours is perhaps my favourite of all the blogs I follow, and definitely the one I get most spiritual nourishment from. But obedience to God's Spirit is paramount, and those of us who read your blog regularly will, I'm sure, understand if you need to pull back and be still, whether that means posting less frequently, taking a hiatus, or just changing the tenor of the blog. I hope you've enjoyed your time in Assisi - I've certainly enjoyed sharing the experience with you as far as possible through a blog - and that our Lord will continue to deepen your experience of our Father's love and mercy through walking in the footsteps of St Francis in Rome.

Continued prayers and blessings, and pax et bonum.


Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Echoing what the previous 2 commenters have said. I've learned so much here, and gained so much food for thought and prayer. Do what you need to do...I'd love to still read.

Tom said...

Yep, I agree with the others. I am a news and sports junkie. Even the religious websites I read are mostly filled with culture wars stories.

Your blog, Father Charles, is an oasis for me, where I can be feed wisdom for the spiritual journey. If you keep writing about that journey, I think you will always have something to share with us.

From George said...

If you need to, take time to find your feet again, knowing you have friends on the Internet who care about your journey, even in the silence.

-Lou (Louis) said...


Please reconsider. Not for you, but for us. Yours is the only blog that I read. Your daily musings may seem to you to be uninteresting to others, but I can assure you that they are a blessing to me. Again, please reconsider.


From George said...

One more is a discussion about the subjects you are pondering.

Anonymous said...

I apologize, but I fail to see the boredom of the blog: It has been a most interesting read. From a readers perspective the only (minor) disappointments I have noticed of late are the lack of a splendid rant, and possibly posting with a really good soundtrack (I am still undecided if Fratello Metallo fit that bill). I am confident though that life will bedazzle and confuse you just enough that you will be compelled to make just one more post.

Your Friend Aaron said...

I've been meaning to tell you how I found your blog. I have a substantial beard. I was looking for grooming advice. With a smirk, I Googled, "Capuchin Beard Advice", and found you! I enjoy stories about the little, "unimportant" things. Don't underestimate the light of life and joy emanating from the slivers and cracks.

We appreciate your unique voice, your humour, and your depth. So tell us your stories. Tell us about the people you're meeting, the relationships you are forming and which are forming you. And be free, be free, be free. Blog every day or blog once a month. Whatever. It's worth the wait for a story well told or a thought well thunk!

Pace é bene, dude.

Brother Charles said...

Dear friends,

Thanks for all the encouragement. I didn't mean the post to suggest that I would stop posting; as it has always been, I post when the inspiration comes. I just meant to recognize and name the fact that the blog has slowed down and shifted in some ways, and I wanted to reflect a little on my guesses at the spiritual situation. Thanks again!

Judy Kallmeyer said...

Fr. Charles, your posts are always tasty little nuggets giving either spiritual nourishment or a peek into community life. Both are savory, never boring. Your focus has changed from the spiritual to the linguistic and so your topics are bound to change too. I have no doubt that you will always have something spiritual to say, but it is going to be punctuated by other things now. And that's OK!!!!

A Secular Franciscan said...

I don't know if my last one went through!

If the Spirit is moving you to discontinue the blog, so be it.

My advice is to stop posting for a while, or to post less frequently, to see if you are stirred to write.

I have found your insights spiritually helpful, and I enjoy hearing about you and your experiences.

-Lou (Louis) said...

Noooooooooo :-( :-(


PS May I ask one last ( :-( ) question?

How exactly do you say "The Lord give you peace" in Italian?

Brother Charles said...

Dear friends, just to clarify...I have not decided to quit the blog. It's always been unplanned and posts show up when I get inspired to make them. This post is just a post about my experience of that having slowed down. The title is more a reference to John of the Cross than any plan for the blog.

-Lou (Louis) said...

Thank God!

Father, could you have a look at my question, please?



Brother Charles said...

Il Signore vi dia pace.

-Lou (Louis) said...

Grazie, fratello!