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talking to myself

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personal stuff

Entries in this blog

 

My Own Incompleteness

My Own Incompleteness   Be at peace with your own soul, then heaven and earth will be at peace with you. Eagerly enter into the treasure house that is within you, and so you will see the things that are in heaven; for there is but one single entry to them both. The ladder that leads to the Kingdom is hidden within your soul- Saint Isaac the Syrian   When I first read the above quote I was put off.  However, after looking back on my own life I can see how true it

markdohle

markdohle

 

Healing Fire

Healing Fire Just as a covered object left out in the sun cannot be penetrated by the sun’s rays, in the same way, once the covering of the soul is removed, the soul opens itself fully to the rays of the sun. The more rust of sin is consumed by fire, the more the soul responds to that love, and its joy increases. — Saint Catherine of Genoa The paradox of the Christian path is that we are called to one-ness with God, but we are also called to two-ness.  Within the Trinity, there is

markdohle

markdohle

 

A reality often hard to believe or understand

A reality often hard to believe or understand I am expressing my feelings to you: my motherly love which carries me to you is inexpressible, mysterious but real.My most beloved Son illuminates lives, dispels darkness; and understanding and motherly benevolence: Part of a message to Mirjana on 2 Jan 16 The human heart longs for God’s love more than anything I believe. It comes out in our seeking after relationships. Yet the problem with this deep desire is that in order to experienc

markdohle

markdohle

 

Hidden from human eyes (written while on retr

Below the calm surface (written in November 2006 when on seven-day hermit's retreat) The pond outside my window is small Surrounded by tall grass on the north end With trees slowly slipping into their winter sleep. The water alive with gentle ripples Footprints of gentle rain disturbing the surface Still mostly undisturbed Its depth silent untouched Life is there below the surface It's tempo hidden from prying eyes. Life and death A place of strug

markdohle

markdohle

 

Below the calm surface

Below the calm surface (written in November 2006 when on seven-day hermit's retreat)   The pond outside my window is small Surrounded by tall grass on the north end With trees slowly slipping into their winter sleep. The water alive with gentle ripples Footprints of gentle rain disturbing the surface Still mostly undisturbed Its depth silent untouched Life is there below the surface It's tempo hidden from prying eyes. Life and death

markdohle

markdohle

 

Dead air time

Dead air time (Time, how to deal with it) We might not advert to it every day but our experience of time and extended time – that is duration - does influence us. In the monastery, we might have too much time on our hands. Or try to escape the boredom of long stretches of time. Or the classic case of the Atlas monk Br Luc who persevered by promising himself each day that he would crash the joint the next day.—Dom Gerard   When I was a young boy growing up I always foun

markdohle

markdohle

 

New Beginnings(New Year 2018)

New Beginnings (New Year 2018) My brothers and I used to babysit for some our neighbors when we lived in Gulick Heights.  I did for about three years, until I was around 16.  I was always asked to babysit for New-Years- Eve.  I never really got it, why all the fuss, it was just a day on the calendar.  Of course, I did not understand at that young age the need for having a point from which to begin again, and the first of January was that day for many people.  Though how getting drunk over

markdohle

markdohle

 

Desire and the Monastic Journey

Desire and the Monastic Journey   What has brought us to the monastery? It is the desire in our heart. Of course we are not going to be as conscious of the force of desire itself but we might say something like we have come to love God or to sacrifice ourselves for others. But the fact is we want something. We want – something. I purposely stress the want – because in that lies desire. St Benedict is aware that it is desire that jump starts our journey. In the Prologue, the Lord lifts

markdohle

markdohle

 

Trapped (some memories from 1969-70)

Trapped (some memories from 1969-70)   When I was in the Navy (1967-71) I met many interesting people.  Most were of course in my age range, 18-25, most enlisted men and women.  All shapes and sizes, some brilliant, others not so much so.  There were always some that I thought were trapped in ways of dealing with reality that were very destructive and a few ran with my crowd, as small as the group was. Drugs were a big deal then, and I guess they still are.  I met one yo

markdohle

markdohle

 

God and the Afterlife

God and the Afterlife By Jeffrey Long, M.D. with Paul Perry In the early 70’s, I went with a few community members, to a talk given by Kubler Ross on the Near-Death-Experience (NDE).  Even though it was 45 years ago, I can still remember the talk clearly.  In the audience was also a young man, named Raymond Moody, whose book was soon to be released.  He stood up in the audience when Kubler Ross asked him to present himself.  From the point on I have been an avid student of this phe

markdohle

markdohle

 

Meeting Peggy

Meeting Peggy On Christmas day, of this year, the abbot came by the retreat house office, asking me to please talk to an elderly woman who seemed confused and may need some help. She was parked in our parking lot that is next to our gatehouse. It was around 7 PM when I went out to speak to her. There was only one car in the parking-lot so it was easy to know where to go. She was an elderly woman and as soon as she rolled down the window, I knew that I was going to like her. She was n

markdohle

markdohle

 

Reduced to silence

Reduced to silence (The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt among Us) We see deeply within the Universe, distance unfathomable to our mind's eye, beyond what we perceive with our powerful telescopes there are more Galaxies that stretch forever? Well, no, of course not, it is finite, with a beginning and an ending. Our minds can travel this vast expanse, our hearts capable of enclosing all that is,  for is not the human heart Infinite, being made in the likeness of

markdohle

markdohle

 

A quiet sadness as well as joy-Advent Season

A quiet sadness as well as joy Advent Season 2017   I have not written much about Advent this year, well actually, I have written nothing.  Sometimes the sadness in the world and the chaos and war mute my soul, it is a quiet place.  I may act happy and joyful on the outside, and while it is not completely untrue, yet I seemed wrapped in an inner silence, a place of sorrow as well as expectation.  My dreams have been strange over the last two weeks as well.  Being in a Monastery, I gu

markdohle

markdohle

 

LA–LA-LA... BOOK BY Kate DiCamillo

LA–LA-LA A BOOK BY Kate DiCamillo Illustrated by Jaime Kim by Candlewick pres\   My good friend Gail, came to visit me this week. She was a Liberian before she retired and to tell you the truth, she still is actually. I have always loved books, but as I age, I find myself reading slower so can’t plow through as many as I did when young. Also, I find myself rereading many books now that I am old and gray and loving it. Books can be good and faithful friends, always sharing more wisdom wit

markdohle

markdohle

 

A down to earth prosaic place (Chapter talk)

A down to earth prosaic place (Chapter talk 14 Dec 2017)  At the end of the Chapter on the Tools of Good Works, St Benedict says ‘These then are the tools of the spiritual craft …. And ….The workshop where we are to toil faithfully at all these tasks is the enclosure of the monastery and stability in the community.’  The monastery as St Benedict describes it is a workshop. It is not the paradise of the cloister. It is a workshop. It is a very down to earth or prosaic place. A wor

markdohle

markdohle

 

A monastic presence here in Georgia

Fr. John O’Brien has been a monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit since 1973.  He was ordained a priest in 1983.    He entered the Monastery at the age of 38.  He is a quiet man, very thoughtful and compassionate.  He is one of our Confessor’s here at our Retreat House.  He is deeply in touch with the human condition and when he gives his homilies it comes through in a gentle, loving manner.   The piece below is a talked he gave about a year ago.      A monastic presence here

markdohle

markdohle

 

Trip to Texas

Time with Fr. Robert Dohle, Georgia, Trisha and Vicki Went to visit family late last month and got back yesterday on the 9th of Dec.  In the past, there were more of my brothers and sisters living in the Lake Jackson/Freeport area in Texas.  Now there is Robert and Georgia.  Robert, being the oldest boy (now that my brother Skip died about two years ago) and Georgia being the youngest girl.  Judy and Jane are at this time in Utah taking care of a medical issue.  They are usually in the ar

markdohle

markdohle

 

The importance of Scripture, and literature

The importance of Scripture, literature, and cartoons I am writing a prisoner (I will call him John) at this time whom I have only written four letters.  He is very intelligent and a good writer as well.  He also loves reading.  Today he shared with me the title of a book he is reading called ‘Sacred Romance’.  The author when talking about the stories in the Old Testament brings to light how epic it is.  There are villains, heroes, tragedy, and humor and in the end, the good guy wins.  I t

markdohle

markdohle

 

The anxiety of a prisoner

The anxiety of a prisoner (no longer your own) I do believe that everyone has something to teach those around them.  Often, this comes about when it is not done on a conscious level but comes about when people are just themselves.  Open, honest, and not trying to impress or influence anyone.  We can influence one another, but control is not possible.  Even with fear which can give the illusion of control, there is always a place where rebellion and anger resides, and rightly so when a human

markdohle

markdohle

 

Silence (A two edge sword)

Silence (A two edged sword) Before embarking on some sort of journey, be it going to another destination, or planning a vacation etc., there can be the tendency to romanticize the process.  Anticipation is often different than the actual experience.  When pondering the need for silence, it can be one-sided when it is simply being thought about or when reading from a particular author.  The thought of silence can be soothing, peaceful and even be healing.  The desire for some peace in

markdohle

markdohle

 

Thankfulness is mindfulness

Thankfulness is mindfulness There are days when I am not mindful and lose my way. I forget the giftedness of all that I am, and what I have, that I can love, laugh and play, and at times even weep, enjoy the sun, but mostly I love rainy days with dark clouds, plants in water with roots, long and flowing,  like a work of art, a living sculpture, people and their smiles and tears and  gentleness, their generosity and freely given love. Quiet mornings when I go outside and th

markdohle

markdohle

 

Fr. Jerome RIP

Fr. Jerome RIP He was a man of deep emotions, shy, introverted and fearful of many things, covered over by a blanket of anger, with a glowering stare, yet underneath was a man of tenderness and open to friendship and true.  His silence was deep and he could sit for hours, Yet when he laughed, such a sound, after being with him when he exploded in a roar of mirth, you think he would die from it, he would become purple from gasping, you understood what a belly laugh

markdohle

markdohle

 

Confronting our gifts

Confronting our gifts Last talk for the Confrontation retreat (thankful acceptance/humility) God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have  the ability to understand and receive it---Pope Francis When thinking about ‘confronting oneself’ it is usually thought of being only with aspects of ourselves that keep us in cycles of pain and frustration.  However many have trouble openly expressing

markdohle

markdohle

 

To react or respond to life

To react or respond to life (Self-Confrontation retreat 2017) Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Cor 9:24 ++++++++++ When thinking about sports of any kind, we tend to think of competition, besting a worthy opponent and thereby winning the crown.  When seeking to lead a life that is rooted in following our spiritual path, it can take on a different meaning.  Yet the truth of the mat

markdohle

markdohle

 

Just getting through the day

Aging, youth, love and just getting through the day I don’t mind aging for myself, nor do I find the growing physical changes all that worrisome.  Though, I am amazed how when younger I took the lightness that my body had for granted.  I could do handstands and other exercises that would take a great deal of balance as if it was the most natural thing in the world to do.   I could do a handstand for a few minutes without breaking a sweat, or a headstand etc.  Pushups, no problem.    Well

markdohle

markdohle