Click here to listen to Fr. Rusty's meditation "The Inward Journey"
Below is Fr. Rusty's letter from the December 30, 2012 bulletin.
Holy Family Sunday invites us to see our family as our vocation. There are many ways to do so. In the following article, Henri Nouwen invites us to make our homes places of “solitude”. The article may pose more questions than answers for you – but that- in itself - might empower you to personalize his thoughts for your own family.
A Family Vocation
The first and most mysterious vocation of the family is to offer solitude. Solitude is the first gift of man, woman, and children to each other. “Never try to suppress the Spirit,” says Paul. In solitude the Spirit reveals itself to us, and it becomes possible to “pray constantly and be joyful at all times.” In solitude we discover the inner space where our creativity finds its roots and from which our real vitality springs ….
We live in a world where we are made to believe that we are what we do. We are important if we do something important; we are intelligent if we do something intelligent; we are valuable if we do something valuable. Therefore, we are very concerned to have something to do, to be occupied. And if we are not occupied, we are usually preoccupied, that is, busy with a worrying mind. But when we live as if we are what we do, we have sold our soul to the world. We have allowed the world to determine who we are. We have, in fact, become lonely people, always anxiously looking around and wondering what other people think about us, always needing people to consider us nice, intelligent and worthwhile … Therefore, the first gift of family members to each other is the gift of solitude in which they can discover their real selves. A family built on false selves, selves put together from occupation and preoccupation, judgments and opinions, is doomed to failure. Only to the degree that the members of a family allow each other to discover their real selves in solitude can real love exist. The family is the place where solitude kisses solitude, where, as Rilke says, “Solitudes salute each other.”
“Spirituality and the Family,” 7
I invite you to listen to the Breath Prayer Meditation. If possible, invite your family to join you in listening for about 5 minutes to this meditation, which is an introduction to how you can “bless each other with solitude.”