The struggle with self
It is a true honor to meet the many people who come to the Monastery to make a retreat and to be able to share and learn from them. I have yet to meet a man or a woman who is not going through some sort of deep interior struggle. Some may not always know that until they slow down and begin the road to deeper self-knowledge and a desire to connect deeply with God. Sometimes, it is when people discover that there is another way that the pain that they take for normal becomes a spur for interior growth.
Sometimes people don’t know that they are not their thoughts, nor are they their emotions no matter how powerful they both can be. I would say that most thoughts are not all that personal, but often a running monologue (or tape) that can click on at any time when something happens that causes a reaction. Thoughts can race out of control if we get absorbed by them. The same goes for our emotions.
Prayer or meditation, while not always easy does allow space to simply step back and observe, or to step back and simply express what is going on in prayer. When these are missing the whirlwind is often experienced and life can seem out of control, or actually is.
Below the chaos, in the silence, we can come back together and be more grounded and present.
Jesus talks about the death of self and the danger of losing one's soul even if the whole world is gained. It is a reversal of values, a resetting of priorities that can seem absurd to many. The values often taught by society, not all by any means, can make it almost impossible to lead a centered life that allows inner growth and harmony. Not only with self, but with others, and most importantly with God, if one is a believer.--Br.MD