Essene (1972) - full transcript

Daily life in a Benedictine monastery.

- The rule of our holy Father benedict chapter 49

of the observance of Lent.

The life of a monk ought at all times

to be Lenten in its character

but since few have the strength for that

we therefore urge that in these days of Lent

the brethren should lead lives of great purity

and should also in this sacred season expiate

the negligences of other times.

This will be worthily done if we refrain from all sin

and apply ourselves to prayer with tears,

to reading, to compunction of heart,

and to abstinence.

Let each one over and above the measure prescribed for him

offer God something of his own free will

in the joy of the Holy Spirit.

Let each one, however, tell his abbot what he is offering

and let it be done with his consent and blessing

because what is done without the permission

of the spiritual Father shall be ascribed to presumption

and vain glory and not reckoned meritorious.

Everything therefore is to be done with the approval

of the abbot.

- I'm interested in this last sentence.

Everything done with the abbot's approval.

If it is true today that authority

is more of a shared responsibility,

then this abbot's approval becomes more and more

a community awareness of what we are doing.

Not secret and private matters of each person,

but as we try in these chapter sessions to become

more conscious and more aware of what we are doing and why

this brings us into a higher level

of corporate consciousness

and finally a corporate approval of our life.

- You know quite often a man walks into the front gate

out here and immediately you feel close to him.

This is a love between Christians.

But then there is the individual,

the person whom God created.

This is the one we have difficulty with.

And it's through living together, through growing together,

through accepting that person, not for just what he is

at the moment, but for what he is becoming.

And this is why so often the little egocentric habits

that we have which bug us all

in time really endear you to that person

because it's a part of them.

And you begin to see the changes taking place

in each other over a period of time,

and this also endears you because that person

is becoming and at the same time you are becoming

and you're watching this growth, it's like watching

a flower blooming through a process of slow motion.

You're watching a person begin to blossom.

Come to real life.

- In Father Anthony's office there's a small poster.

There's a naked man crouched in a corner

and above him are the words

"Because you are afraid to love, I am alone."

Go up and look at it.

'Cause loneliness is one of the worst things

a person can be in.

- I'd like to ask my Brothers this morning to

remember a name of Elizabeth Ferrer.

Elizabeth Ferrer is a lay analyst in New York City

with whom I've had contact and I was under her care

for several months and it was quite a wonderful experience

at the time.

I was able to share the experience of analysis

and group therapy with people with whom I was working

in an experimental program.

And I was also able to share the experience

with about 40 other patients.

In New York City and develop a sense of community together

with 40 other people.

And to be able to walk around the island of Manhattan

amongst all the other people and have a sense

of community that you were sharing with roughly

40 other persons was a beautiful experience,

a very intimate experience.

And I really felt that I was lead by God to this person.

And to this experience and community because it has

certainly prepared me for community life here.

Very often I feel at our chapter sessions

and occasionally even our prayer meetings become

as Elizabeth would say let's have a little group

and it is extremely therapeutic.

And it all relates to the emphasis on healing

that we have here at the monastery.

And the emphasis on healing in our prayer life.

And one of the great things I thought about

the practice and the attitude within the practice

was Elizabeth's teachings and her emphasis

in positive and negative criticism about what each one

of us was doing to our souls.

And the very first time the word soul came into play

during a group therapy session I thanked God

for bringing me to that particular situation because

there was a very strong theology underlying her work.

At least I sensed that.

And she was also extremely fond of Martin Buber.

Who's a great man and is a great philosopher and theologian.

And some of you have heard me remembering her

in our free prayer during the mass

and I'd kinda like today if we can remember her

each in your own way.

I think she's performing a very important work.

- You know we were talking about, Robert was talking

about New York.

And it's really difficult to live in that city.

Until you realize that you don't have to like

all those people.

But if you love them, if you care for them,

it really makes it a good deal easier.

And also

I ask you to remember the innocence of Hiroshima.

Who died.

- The art of arriving at that, let's say, community ability

to discern the spirit by listening to one another

and then looking for the unity behind what is being said,

the art of that has to be learned.

That's what's the problem.

We really don't know how to do that, you have to learn it.

So the little problems like in our chapter business

should ideally be the workshop of learning to listen

to the spirit.

When opinions vary considerably

or oppose violently then what is the spirit saying

in each person and how would this possibly fit together?

Unless we learn that we just continue to shift

the ego battles from one question to another.

It doesn't make a difference.

Here's the flag today, it might be how we do the liturgy

or what we're gonna eat or are we gonna have

beer on Sunday, whatever it is well okay we shift

the troops over to that question and blow a bugle

and start in again.

(lawnmower whirring in distance)

- To me, use of a first name doesn't necessarily mean

respect at all.

In fact rather lack of it.

There's an old English saying, how old I don't know,

but anyways an English saying, familiarity breeds contempt.

- Right. - You've probably heard it.

I can assure you that it does.

I do not feel the same respect for a person

whom I can first name just like that

that I would for someone who has a title to

his front name.

A title or a handle call it, we don't want to use

the word title there.

And of course as I've said for my part,

I don't readily accord the privilege of first naming me

and I do consider it a privilege, and I do consider

that it can be accorded only by myself.

Now that's the, what would we call it?


You put the name to it, I don't know what it is.

Part of it.

There's also the matter of convenience.

If the community had only one person of a name

and yes in things we're not involved or else

they were referred to as Mr. or Mrs. or whatever

that happens to be, the difficulty would not arise you see

but now on deck here we have already two Davids.

We've got Dom David and David Ram,

and at times we have other Davids.

And who's to know which David it is?

The thing of course originally I suppose

was a matter of it being a baptismal name.

And many years ago, baptism names were the thing,

but even then they found it a little inconvenient

and added descriptions to distinguish

one person from another one.

Erik the Red.

Or William App Jones.

Which is son of.

And even in Biblical times there was Judas

and not Iscariot.

So obviously the necessity there flies to me in here.

The necessity to distinguish one from another was felt.

- [Father] What is it aside from this point in the rule

at which I think we could spread out into a broader basis.

What does it feel like to you when someone

just uses your first name?

- It's disrespect as far as I'm concerned.

And I accept it that way.

- Has it always been that way? - Yes, it has always

been that way.

- [Father] From before you got Wilfred?

- Yes, it has always been that way.

And another thing I never cared for very much

when I was in the world known as Edmund I did not care

to be known as Ed or Eddie or whatever else

you want to call the thing.

Except among my very close chums.

Of which there were five.

Anyone beyond that they'd be put down in short order.

- [Father] What's the difference between your close friends

and-- - Chaps I grew up with.

Went to school with.

Friends, or friends or acquaintances.

- [Father] Why would they have that privilege?

- Well because as I say I'd known them always.

- [Father] So that using a first name implies access to you?

Or having spent a lot of time with you.

- You may call it that if you wish.

- [Father] In a parallel way...

- You don't mind if I exercise a fly swatter here?

- [Father] Help yourself.

- In a who? - In a parallel way,

that is time spent with people,


you might spend actually more time with some

religious Brother.

- But why should he not be known as Brother?

- [Father] Well I'm not arguing against that,

I was just putting those two ideas together.

- I think he has earned the title as far as that goes.

- [Father] Hmm.

- He's gone through a long way to get it.

- Yeah.

So that the common denominator is a mutual experience.

That is, a mutual experience helps people to feel

that there is respect.

- I would think so.

- Whatever names are used, and thus--

- Another thing too on that score.

There is so much a tendency today for

something to be taken up at once.

I'm addressed by a first name by somebody in the community

who may or may not have the right to do so,

and immediately some guest or other with whom he is

starts doing the same thing.

With no ground, no basis, no nothing, whatever,

absolutely nothing whatever period.

- Right.

Basically I just--

- Shows a bad example.

- You're saying you don't have a common experience

with this person who takes up your first name.

- Well you could put it that way, fine.

I don't understand half of what you say sometimes.


But if that's your understanding of it,

let's put it that way.

- [Father] It seems to fit with your early experience.

- Okay well put it that way.

- [Father] That you had no difficulty in the first name

or even abbreviated nickname because you had

a common experience with those friends.

- If you wish to put it that way, put it that way,

if that's how you understand it.

- [Father] I was thinking that's what you said.

Now you're feeling trapped.


As if I were cornering you with an argument.

- I've reached the end of anything on that.

- [Father] I was just trying to illuminate

what you were actually saying.

I'm not trying to trap you.

- I've told you all I can tell you on that.

- [Father] Well do you want to go onto another subject?

- Anything you wish.

- [Father] Well if you don't mind I think I can illuminate

your understanding. - Illuminate?

- That in the growing up process,

the common experience.

- Yes you've said that, you've said it ad nauseum.

- Right.

Well isn't that true?

That's what you're saying.

- Okay, that's true then, alright, if you think so.

That's fine.

- So what would seem to be the parallel in our case here

is that the common experience of Christ.

Would be the equivalent.

- No.

I don't think so.

- What's the difference? - I don't know.

- [Father] Mm hmm, it just is different.

- It's different. - Mm hmm.

♪ By the fading light of day ♪

♪ Maker of all to you we pray ♪

♪ That with your ever-watchful love ♪

♪ You guard and keep us from above ♪

♪ Help and defend us through the night ♪

♪ Danger and terror put to flight ♪

♪ Never let evil have its way ♪

♪ Preserve us for another day ♪

♪ Father of light he list thee none ♪

♪ Through Jesus Christ our Lord your son ♪

♪ Home in the feeling that we adore ♪

♪ Who rests with you forever more ♪

♪ Amen ♪

May the almighty and merciful Lord,

Father, son, and Holy Spirit bless and keep us.

- [All] Amen.

(singing in foreign language)

- Pray for us oh holy mother of God.

- [All] That thee may make worthy of us, Christ.

- Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God who by the cooperation

of the Holy Spirit made ready the body and soul

of the glorious virgin and mother Mary to be fit dwelling

for your son.

Grant that we who rejoice in her memory may be freed

from present ills and from eternal death by her prayers

through the same Christ our Lord.

- [All] Amen.

- May thy divine help remain with us always.

- [All] And with Christ, Amen.

- Purify me, oh Lord.

- [All] Through this diving flame.

Wash me until I am whiter than snow.

Have mercy on me with all your gifts.

Your very tenderness (mumbles).

Lord be the Father and to the son

and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning as now and ever shall be.

A world without end, amen.

Purify me oh Lord with this divine flame.

Wash me until I am whiter than snow.

(singing in foreign language)

- I think Brother Anthony that you know that this vigil

is dedicated to you and for you

and in this regard with very deep love

I think we would like to offer you our prayers.

In the name of Jesus.

Almighty God.

Recreate the body of your servant, Anthony.

According to his needs.

And our desires.

Heal him.

And make him whole.

Bless you, Jesus.

Strengthen also his resolve

to show forth your glory in this community.

And fill him with wisdom.

And with the grace

needed to fulfill your will in this regard.

Receive all these offerings we have made

these last three days.

And return them a gift of love to him.


with deep and abiding joy.

♪ Heal him Jesus ♪

♪ Heal him Jesus ♪

♪ Heal him Jesus ♪

♪ Heal him Jesus ♪

♪ Heal him Jesus ♪

♪ Heal him Jesus ♪

♪ Heal him Jesus ♪

♪ Heal him Jesus ♪

♪ Make him whole ♪

♪ Make him whole ♪

♪ Make him whole ♪

♪ Make him whole ♪

♪ Make him whole ♪

♪ Make him whole ♪

♪ Make him whole ♪

♪ Make him whole ♪

('50s rock and roll music)

- Morning. - Morning.

- Do you know where the plastic picnic bag type of things

would be offhand?

- Yes I think it's next aisle over.

- Over there? - Yes.

- Thank you very much.

- Hey what's up today?

- Let me tell you.

Brother Bernard wants a potato peeler.

One that works, he says.

- That's just the kind we got.

- Yeah well we knew that.

- Only thing we require Herb is a fresh potato.

Of course that--

- What we going to...

- Now do you wanna start there and hunt?

And oh here we are Herb, right here.

Did you ever use those?

Don't cut yourself, it's awful sharp.

What's the matter?

Here's one, here's one my wife likes.

You ever use that? - No, I don't care for that.

We got one of those.

- Oh you're hard to please.

- It's listed on those that don't work.

No the one...

Here's a picture.

It this wobbles on the stem.

- Yeah well just a minute, this does too.

This here's the same principle as that that you saw.

You see you grasp this and this has the moving blade.

- Yeah but I'll tell you a little difference on that.

This one you pull to you and take your fingers with it.

- Right.

- The other one you push against and put your fingers

over there. - A little protein in there.

I see. - Yeah.

You know what I mean I'm looking for?

- I'd hate to see one of the Brothers prostrate

on floor, bleeding from the fingers.

No good.

No good.

We got another one here somewhere.

- Well it's the other one I'm probably looking for.

Where is it?

- Let me take off my glasses,

I can see better without them. - Hey that's a good spoon.

- That has a little pea--

- It has a little floating device on the whosit.

- Pea pod cutter too on the end of it.

- Yes, yes that's a bean cutter.

- Bean, that cuts beans. - Yeah.

That's exactly what I'm after.

- Listen, could I talk you into this other thing

whilst I get the other one?

There's no reason to...

It's the same dumb thing, Herb.

- This corner. - Golly.

What? - What?

- It's the same thing only it hasn't got the--

- No, yeah, no.

- How about a screwdriver?

- Say, that's a good thought.

No, I don't like that sort of thing.

You could actually talk me into that.

- [Man] What's that Baker's name that has a boat shop

out there? - Bud.

Bud Baker on Broadway, yeah.

Lost of nice boats.

- Is it Laverne? - Yeah, Laverne Baker, yeah.

No kidding, seriously that is the same principle.

- [Herb] How many potatoes have you done with it?

- Not less than three. - Okay hold up.

I was gonna say you didn't have to answer that one.

- That is a, that really works.

- But see, where is the potato being held there?

It's nailed down, perhaps.

- Oh he'll hold it in the hand,

we gotta hold the potato anyway holding your--

- I don't see any hand getting peeled there,

I just see the peeling thing. - I'll go get a potato.

- [Herb] No, don't do that old man.

I'm not gonna peel it so really--

- Listen. - I couldn't care less.

- [Shopkeeper] Take that on my recommendation.

- [Herb] Your recommendation?

Alright. - Yes sir.

If it's not right we'll take it back.

- Do you want the potato back with it?

- [Shopkeeper] I'd like this card back with it.


- Okay.

I guess that's about all then in that case.

- [Shopkeeper] Well how about a rolling pin

or something like that?

We have a lot of things here we gotta sell.

- I know you have.

- [Shopkeeper] How about a potato cutter, make French fries?

You can trade this in, you won't need to have

a potato peeler.

- I'll tell you if this doesn't work we'll trade it in

on the French fry cutter, how's that?

- [Shopkeeper] Good, alright, alright, that's it.

Well I don't know, I can't think of anything else unless--

- I can't think of anything else either.

- Want a hamburger press?

- No.

- Want a bread knife?

- All kinds of junk.

I have to...

Unless it's something from my department I can't spend--

- How are all the Herb this morning?

You all on tap, all answer roll call, all come forth?

- Damned if I know, by golly.

I didn't see 'em all.

- Didn't you stand roll call?

- No.

Roll call.

- What do you wear out there?

Your GI underwear and your overcoat down the front?

- That's right, how'd you guess that?

- Well I could just visualize that.

- You oughta come out and see sometime.

It's absolutely amazing.

- Do you run out and stand to attention

or just kind of slump out and say gee

I wish I could get this over with or something like that?

- I sorta crawl out, you know.

- [Shopkeeper] What you could do in the army see

is holler here for me when they do it and--

- Yeah. - Here, here, here, like this.

- That's right.

Til finally you got too many for the number

you got on deck.

Too many answers for the number you got on deck.

- [Shopkeeper] That gets a little confusing then,

that's right,

when the man comes out and says I don't see you out there,

he rattles the bedsheet and you jump up like a good boy.


- Okay.

- [Shopkeeper] Oh Herb.

Can't you think of anything else?

- Not a ruddy thing.

- Well-- - I know I have,

there's a toilet seat on order but that's not in,

won't be in til...

Where's Ken?

- Is that that complete seat? - Yeah.

- Or the open front? - The heavy one.

No open front, heavy though.

- Open front, heavy?

Yeah I think he, let's just check and see.

- He ordered the thing but I wondered,

it won't be in until Wednesday, no, Thursday.

- Thursday.

That's July if it's here. - Of next week.

Ken wanted to find one that he could order satisfactorily.

- How much that toilet seat for Herb, Ken?

- It's not in, I know, but did you manage to find one

that you could order?

- I will tomorrow when the salesman shows up, or Monday.

- Well the salesman comes tomorrow, Monday.

- Yeah.

- And then he comes in the same week, does he?

Is that what it is?

- Thursday, that's right.

- How goes it?

- Well it went much better this week than the week before.

Not a perfect record of attendance but, you know,

we've made lots of progress.

- We decided last week to live with it another week

to see and your point I think was that although you weren't

living up to the timetable and stuff that it was

good for you to have that over you to guide you

and so forth. - Yeah, yeah.

It did seem to go much better.

- And Brother David has said that you could stay

throughout the month.

- Yeah.

- Is that what he said? - Yeah.

- Well I tell you the heartening thing I've seen

is that the other boys have warmed up to you very nicely.

- Yeah, there was kind of a change this week.

- [Brother] Yeah.

Do you know why?

- No, I don't.

Can't put my finger on it.

- [Brother] Somebody said something happened to you.

- Really?

- I don't know. - Yeah.

It's very mysterious.

I mean these things happen between members of the community

quite often. - Right.

Sometimes you can't analyze it.

But given that and some measure of improvement

I don't any longer feel that we need to think in terms

of an earlier departure if you want to hang on.

- Okay.

Okay well. - But do keep up the effort.

- Oh yeah.

Once it's established you really can't back down.

I was wondering, could you give me a theological rationale

for discipline? - Yeah I sure can.


If you don't have discipline you've got chaos.

The whole idea of Christian discipline or asceticism

as it's called, is to form the person insofar

as he can form himself humanly to be more receptive

to God's graces.

If one is forever dissipating, he's going to be less,

that's an extreme case maybe, he's going to be less likely

to hear God speak when he does or to receive his graces.

On the other hand if he has himself in control,

disciplined, he'll begin hearing God

where he didn't suspect.

That's the whole point of asceticism.

- The Hebrews discovered you see that it was necessary

to have a law if they were going to survive as people.

And it was necessary at times to subscribe to the letter

of the law if they were going to maintain the covenant.

But it's the art of finding the spirit

infusing the letter and the law

which the Pharisees could not stretch themselves

to accomplish.

And it's a real tension to have a honest dialogue

between spirits and the law.

So the primacy in the Pharisaical point of view

was the Sabbath.

The primacy in our Lord's point of view was man.

And in the sense this is where a great deal of the conflict

in human living comes.

How to deal with man as he is and bring him to the spirit.

The Pharisaical answer is you don't really deal with man.

You simply impose a sabbath or a system or a letter

upon him.

In order to be able to stand mystery,

whether it's God or man, you've gotta tame it down.

Get control of it.

And this is the age-old temptation, if you can control God,

then you can stop the divine mystery from intruding upon

your life and if you could tame man,

and get him organized in one way or another,

you could stop the intolerable mystery which is almost

meaningless it's so big to human nature.

And therefore the Pharisaic inclination is very human.

To tame these things, to get it down to a manageable basis.

And we have to admit that here in our family life

we're under particular strain right now in the realm

of family charity because we don't have

a definition of how we're going to pray

and what we're gonna study

and exactly what our work should be.

We don't have the definition, the law is not comforting

enough to give us security.

So there's tension in community.

- You know you get right down to the fine grain of things.

And so sure, it's gonna hurt.

And don't worry if it hurts.

- Yeah, I don't worry.

The worrying went away a long time ago.

- I mean be thankful.

- The only thing we worry about is

the effect it has on the other people around us.

But then I shouldn't do that either

because the Holy Spirit takes care of that too.

- But love takes in a lot too, you know.

That's where we absorb each other's hurt.

Sometimes we cause the misfortune--

- It's always so misunderstood.

With my Brothers, for instance, they always apologize

and after they've hurt and thinking--

- Yeah.

- But it's not, you don't understand

what they're apologizing for sometimes.

Which is alright too I guess.

- Well they're just apologizing for an external thing

that they see.

- Yeah.

- But here you really begin to know each other.

So that's kind of, we reveal, you can't help

when you live close together like this you reveal

yourself and others reveal themselves to you

and sometimes not intentionally but we just

touch the tender spots in people.

- Yeah.

Especially here it seems like in these last few weeks.

You're laid wide open.

And I don't know whether it's from fighting the

emotionalism in those meetings or not or whether it's...

Or it's from being laid open by those meetings.

So that when all the little foibles and faults

that one suffers when somebody else comes into it

it's like pouring salt in all those open...

It's like taking all this hard skin

that was on the outside and ripping it all off

and you have all that nice fresh skin underneath and

then it-- - It's pretty sensitive.

- Every little thing hurts. - Yeah.

- And you want to love so bad.

- [Nun] Well you are.

- They give so much to you and you want to give it all back

and it never...

It is...

- [Nun] It's being like an open channel

so you can move through.

You know?


He gives it to us and then it's for him to take

as he wants to take it.

- Yeah I know. - And for others to take,

that's the hard part.

You know we want to love other people but sometimes it's...

- Being in the proximity of him here always

in the community since he's so evidently here,

the mystical body is so,

so much here.

So conscious, so alive to us, that we,

at least I can do it here, it's very hard on the outside.

You get all hung up when the ego takes over like this,

like it's doing to me right now.

It's so much easier to play the Bardos,

in the Book of the Dead you go through all the,

in the Tibetan Book of the Dead you go through

all the Bardos of development, all the strange illusions.

And it's so easy to play those games and those Bardos.

But you can't do it here. - You can't do it here, yeah.

- And that's the only salvation, that's why

there's no depression, there's unhappiness sometimes

but there's no depression.

There's always a river of joy underneath,

but you can't always express that to people around you.

That's why I get disturbed when something like this happens.

- [Nun] People understand, you see.

- I think Father Anthony understands.

- You don't have to explain.

- Well in the long run you never have to explain.

That's the only thing keeps me here.

That's what disturbs me so much about when people

get to talking about the church and they see it

only right now.

- Yeah.

- They don't see it stretching out in time.

- No, well they have to take their age

into consideration too.

- [Brother] I suppose but I keep forgetting that.

- Yeah.

- [Brother] Because I have to be with him all he time.

- And that's another thing community,

you got the generations and the different understandings.

We all bring in our own backgrounds and our own upbringings

and our own cultural differences.

And you come willing and wanting to and then when you get

down to the nitty gritty of things,

you know.

But this is the great part of it.

- [Brother] Yeah I know.

- This is where you're really allowed to become fulfilled

(blowing nose) within yourself,

be the person God created you to be.

- Rejoice in him on high.

- So keeping open is not easy.

It's great to say, and when we think of it we think of

letting out all the joy and love and everything that comes

but that means being, having those sensitive areas hit.

- Yeah.

Well thank you. - It's great.

Bless you. - Bless you.

- You're okay, believe me.

(piano music)

♪ Deep river ♪

♪ My home is over Jordan ♪

♪ Deep river, Lord ♪

♪ I want to cross over into campground ♪

♪ Deep river ♪

♪ My home is over Jordan ♪

♪ Deep river ♪

♪ I want to cross over into campground ♪

♪ Well deep river, Lord ♪

♪ I want to cross over into campground ♪

♪ I want to cross over ♪

♪ I want to cross over ♪

♪ Want to cross over into campground ♪


- [All] Oh Lord give grace to help us.

Lord thee to the Father, to the son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Ask (mumbling).


(singing in foreign language)

- Blessed be God, Father, son, and Holy Spirit.

- [All] And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever, amen.

- Almighty God, to you all hearts are open,

all desires known, from you no secrets are hid.

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration

of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name through Christ our Lord.

- [All] Amen.

♪ Lord have mercy ♪

♪ Lord have mercy ♪

♪ Lord have mercy upon us ♪

♪ Lord have mercy upon us ♪

♪ Christ have mercy upon us ♪

♪ Christ have mercy upon us ♪

♪ Lord have mercy upon us ♪

♪ Lord have mercy upon us ♪

♪ Lord have mercy upon us ♪

♪ Lord have mercy upon us ♪

♪ Lord have mercy upon us ♪

- Jesus said to the crowds, the kingdom of heaven

is like treasure hidden in the field

which someone has found.

He hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns

and buys the field.

Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant

looking for fine pearls.

When he finds one of great value he goes

and sells everything he owns and buys it.

The gospel of the Lord.

- I tried to encourage Brother Joseph to talk

about this text and he didn't feel that he wanted to

get up in the Eucharist and speak about the text.

But we talked about it, personally, privately.

And in that conversation his own experience

of the treasure and the pearl came out.

He admitted of course that when he came here

25 years ago, he had no idea what the monastic life

would be like and no idea of what his personal life

could possibly be like, having developed in the kingdom.

So he came in faith before a mystery.

Well we don't even know what the full mystery of

monastic life is but it's certainly changed in 25 years.

Nor could Brother Joseph have in any way anticipated

his own mystery.

A breakdown 16 years ago and the slow, difficult process

of recovering.

A way to function as a human being,

and the way to hang on to treasure, a pearl.

Now he would not want to make an exaggerated statement

about his own faith.

But he lives it.

The treasure, that's the only reason that he's here.

For 16 years, through a very difficult interior suffering,

that treasure is the spirit of which St. Paul speaks.

The spirit who's been praying through Brother Joseph,

well he's been struggling with his own personal machinery.

The spirit of Christ is really his treasure.

The pearl.

He wouldn't be able to give a very smooth, polished

profession, but when we live with him as Brothers,

it comes out as faith.

I know people who have come to the monastery

and have seen nothing else but Brother Joseph.

A treasure in a human heart.

A pearl in the faith.

In the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit.

- [All] Amen.

- Let us offer our prayers to the infinitely

understanding God through his son and the Holy Spirit.

- For this city and for every city and community

who knows and live in them let us pray to the Lord.

- [All] Lord have mercy.

- For the ancient and infirm, for widows and orphans,

and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to the Lord.

- [All] Lord have mercy.

- The Archbishop of Canterbury for the Holy Father

in Rome and all those seeking unity in the church.

- For our own deceased monks, Father Francis,

Father Morris, Father Gregory, and our two passed abbots.

- Thanksgiving for the dedication of the Barrigans.

- For the droppers of the bomb,

for all draft resisters in prison.

- For Elizabeth Ferrer.

- For the marvelous harvesting of the Jesuits

throughout the year in the word of God,

especially for Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

- For all of those who are dying at this moment

without hope or faith.

- For a peaceful settlement of the conflict

in the Middle East.

- Shannon.

- For all the lonely.

- For young people seeking a meaningful knowledge of God

that they can relate to their lives here and now.

♪ I shall tell the Lord ♪

♪ There is nothing I shall want ♪

♪ Rest all waters he makes me ♪

♪ To read my wandering spirit ♪

♪ He rides along in my palm ♪

♪ It's true to his name ♪

♪ (mumbled singing) ♪

♪ My cup is overflowing ♪

♪ The presence of Christ shall hold me ♪

♪ All the days of my life ♪

♪ (mumbles) ♪

♪ Forever and ever ♪

♪ We'll wander some in glory ♪

♪ Give glory to the sinner ♪

♪ (mumbles) ♪

♪ Forever and ever ♪

♪ The Lord is my shepherd ♪

♪ Nothing shall I want ♪

♪ He leads me by safe lands ♪

♪ Nothing shall I need ♪

The love of God be with you always.

- [All] And also with you.

- Peace be with you, Brother James.

Peace be with you, Brother Joseph.

- Peace be with you.

- Peace of the Lord be with you.

- Peace of the Lord be always with you.

- Peace of the Lord be with you.

- And also with you.

Peace of the Lord.

- Almighty and ever-living God.

You have fed us with the spiritual food,

the most precious body and blood of your son,

our savior Jesus Christ, you have assured us

in these holy mysteries that we are living members

of the body of your son and heirs to your eternal kingdom.

And now Father, send us off to do the work

you have given us to do.

To love and serve you as faithful witnesses

of Christ our Lord, to him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit,

the honor and glory, now and forever, amen.

- Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

- [All] Thanks be to God.

(gentle music)

- You think from what you know of Bart,

and all the rest of it, that he would cause a...

He would blow up.

Not blow up as a postulant but

he would suddenly become a very divisive element.

At the present time he isn't.

- At the present time he is. - Hmm?

- How's that?

- Well Brother Wilfred can't stand the ground he walks on.

- Well now here's the point.

If the community will support me in decisions I make

I can be an honest answer that at least is passable.

But if I'm going to have people in the community

who fight the people I bring in or the abbot brings in,

it's hopeless.

- Well of course we've had this with our dear Brother

from everybody who's been here since he's been

a novice himself.

- Well we oughta crush this energy.

We really ought to.

Well I've spend most of the times in counseling with Bart

this summer on this one thing.

And what he can do in order to not avoid Brother Wilfred

but what he can do to help the relationship.

- But why even try? - Did he bring it up?

- Yes, he's been very hurt and at one point said

I will leave if I'm causing him too much pain.

- Mm hmm, okay. - He said I do not want

to cause that-- - I mean who's being divisive?

- Well are the Brothers being divisive?

But we have to face this fact which I don't think we

do faced obviously, that every single postulant

we have had and every single person

who is now in the community,

and that includes the abbot right straight down.

- Right. - Brother Wilfred

does not like.

And none of us can really get along with him.

- [Brother] So with any new postulant--

- So it makes no difference.

Any new person comes in.

- I think that's stronger than my experience of him

because I see him converting-- - Dear Father,

have you ever taken an early morning trip with him

as I do once a month at least?

- [Father] Well I've talked with him privately

and I think he tells me--

- But he tells me a lot on that hour and a half trip.

- [Father] Mm hmm.

- That is terrific.

He just outpours about his disagreement

with the whole shebang, you see.

And I think this is his personality,

that's all there is to it.

- Now if in our community sessions we could become

open enough to bare these things with one another,

that you've hurt me and so forth,

we might be able to do something with it.

But I despair of any private confrontations

that will do anything with Brother with new men

in the future because the confrontation is too private,

you know, and the young man that he's beating up

is not standing up to him.

Who has the energy to do it?


- It would help I think in this whole situation

if when you hit a specific problem involving a Brother

you give me that specific and I can deal

with the specific.

- [Brother] My dear Father,

you have been saying this for 18 years.

- Well. - And I can give you tons

of specifics and not a damn thing happens.

- Well I'm stumped.

I'm still asking for more specifics.

- Okay I'll give you the specifics then.

Also you're not there with a notepad and a camera sometimes.

You've had it through the novice who may be weeping

or something but I could not offer laboratory proof

that it took place, you know.

But there's plenty there to convince me

that there are a few in the family that have to get with it.

The community now is going in a new direction

and it's a God-given direction.

And people have to get with it.

Maybe not in the sense that they enroll themselves

to the sense that you have or I have,

but they've got to stop fighting it

and they've got to start loving the Brothers.

That's all there is to it.

- [Man] And then we make an L the other way.

- [Man] Okay.

Block it in.

- This is my life.

This is yours.

My spirit rests upon you.

I've conquered all fear.

I'm the king of your life.

I'm your complete lover.

I hold you, I caress you.

I fill you with my life.

You are my life.

I have said so.

- I want to tell you a story of a man and his beloved.

The beloved took him into his own city.

Into the house, his own very house in his own very city.

And the man was very happy with the beloved.

And while he was there in the garden with the beloved

he heard much noise, music, laughter, shouting.

Some of it very confusing on the outside of the garden.

And the beloved took him to one side of the garden

and he looked out over the wall and he saw many people

dancing and shouting and running about.

And he saw much sparkling light coming from them.

And he thought how beautiful and he asked who they were.

And the beloved said they are new people to my city.

And they are very noisy and loud but very happy.

And then they walked to the other side of the garden

and he looked out over another part of the city

and the city was a bit quieter there,

but these people were dancing with a slow tread

and very, very quietly.

It was a solemnity about them.

And as they danced, a great glowing sparkle

came from them, too.

And the beloved said these are the older people

of my city, they've been here for many, many years.

They've lived here for a long time, some of them

have been here since the city was built.

And the man said I would like to know your people better.

They must love you very much.

And so the beloved invited all the people of the city

to come into his garden.

And when they had come into his garden he introduced

the man to the elders of the city.

These elders were very aristocratic.

And very wise.

And when they looked upon the man he was almost blinded

by the glow from their face.

They bowed to him and embraced him and then they went

and sat in the seats of wisdom that were there

in the garden for them.

And then the beloved introduced him to the new element,

the young people of the city.

And when they looked upon him they sparkled and laughed.

And then he introduced him to the other people

and the looked upon him and bowed gracefully and murmured.

And then they began to dance.

But their dances were very strange.

And they turned and some of them as they began to turn

he began to lose the sparkle from these people.

And he became very upset about it because these people

did not dance the same type of dance.

And as they turned one to the other they got very unhappy

with each other and they began to push at each other

and pull at each other.

They'd push each other out of the way

so that they could dance their dance better.

And the man turned to the beloved and said stop them,

make them all dance the same dance.

But the beloved only smiled sadly and looked upon him.

And then the man turned to the elders of the city

and said surely you as aristocrats and elders

would not allow all this confusion and chaos, stop them!

Make them dance the same dance.

Look, the sparkle is gone.

All the sparkle is gone, I see very little of it.

And the elders smiled and nodded but did nothing.

And so the man became very angry, very angry indeed.

He became very bitter at the elders

for doing nothing about this.

And he grabbed ahold of the cloth of the garment

of his beloved and pulled him towards all of these people

dancing and said come, you must come with me

into the middle of all these people and help me.

You must make them dance the same dance and he pulled

and he got him to the middle of all these people

with all the confusion and the chaos and he got

very angry with him and he began pushing

and pulling and as he pushed and he pulled

he ripped the garment and he lost his beloved

somewhere in all this mess.

It finally became so painful for him and so confusing

that he had to crawl out of all these legs and arms

and all this trouble and chaos

and all this noise and confusion

and he climbed up on the top of a tall tower

inside the garden.

And when he looked down he saw in the middle of all

this dancing his beloved where he had pushed him.

And his beloved was broken and crippled

where he had pushed him down.

And he looked at the people dancing.

And when he saw them all dancing together

it was very beautiful because they went

circles within circles.

And then they stopped dancing and they all looked at him

and he saw the sparkle all again.

Because it was their eyes that were sparkling.

All of their eyes turned in one direction sparkled,

but when they turned their eyes to each other

he didn't see the sparkle.

Did they?

And he was very unhappy.

He was so sad, he was broken hearted because he had

crippled his beloved.

He had lost something.

He had broken his heart.

And so he threw himself off the tower

and his own body was broken.

He is unhappy, he is lost, he is wounded.

Crippled himself now.

How shall he be healed?

Do you know anybody like that in here?

Surely there must be somebody here

that you know like that, somebody you might know.

Well if you don't you're looking at somebody like that

right now.

Somebody who's crippled his own beloved.

Somebody who called to his elders in wisdom

and yet wouldn't listen when they talked.

Somebody who ripped the garment right off his beloved's back

and then crawled onto a tower and find out

that they were all smiling, really, they were all

laughing at each other, they were all sparkling

out of their eyes, and he couldn't see it

when they turned their face away from him.

Because they were looking at the beloved, not at him.

And they were looking at each other in love, not at him.

Well will you pray with me and for me?

For me and for somebody else you might know

who's done this same thing?

Because I'm very crippled.

- [Man] God is watching, God is watching.

(low murmuring)

(singing in foreign language)

- Holy Jesus send your spirit upon Richard

and ease his mind and his heart

and let him know that he is beloved of you.

Bless him, Jesus.

- If our conscience accuses too much

let us remember that God is greater than our conscience.

That he is swift to forgive.

God does not desire the death of sinners.

The Lord wants to save those who love him

and who will turn from the wrong they do.

Praise you Lord Jesus.

♪ Heal him ♪

♪ Heal him ♪

♪ Healing in the morning ♪

♪ Healing in the noontime ♪

♪ Heal him ♪

♪ Heal him ♪

♪ Heal him when the sun goes down ♪

♪ Praise him ♪

♪ Praise him ♪

♪ Praise him in the morning ♪

♪ Praise him in the noontime ♪

♪ Praise him ♪

♪ Praise him ♪

♪ Praise him when the sun goes down ♪

- Bless you Jesus. (overlapping prayers)

- I am your God.

You are my child.

I have purchased you with my blood.

I love you.

Cleave to me in love.

I will be with you always, I shall never forsake you.

- [All] Praise Jesus our Lord.

(low murmuring)

♪ I tell you Lord ♪

♪ Come and quench this thirsting of my soul ♪

♪ Bread of heaven feed me til I want no more ♪

♪ Til my God fill it up and make me whole ♪

- [Man] That song number is 89.

♪ Like I woman at the well I was clinging ♪

♪ For things I could have had in life ♪

♪ And then I heard my savior singing ♪

♪ Now I hear him well and never shall run dry ♪

♪ Fill my cup Lord I am ne'ermore ♪

♪ Come and quench this thirsting of my soul ♪

♪ Bread of heaven ♪

♪ Feed me til I want no more ♪

♪ Fill my cup ♪

♪ Fill it up and make me whole ♪

- I really asked to have this continuing session

more for my own benefit.

Not to resolve any of those points that came up.

And also to help you understand

some of my interior patterns because I think

the more you understand me the better you can work

with me and get more mileage out of me.

And I'm in no sense attempting to maneuver

a policy by saying what I'm saying.

I'm just saying it for my own benefit really.

I did have a sharp impact from that session,

and basically the way we talked about our Brother,

not the vocationers.

And as I went away rather numb, I really had to

find out why in my own feelings why.

And then a click occurred in me that said

the same thing happened at Peakskill.

And then-- - Same thing

happened to you at Peakskill?

- Happened to me at Peakskill when I had that kind of

a strong reaction from a priest there.

Regarding something I was doing there.

And then I flipped in my interior reflection

to my father.

And this is where it all came together.

He was a very strong man.

Powerful man.

And when he was operating in his sobriety

he didn't pay much attention to us.

So the power wasn't much use to us.

But when he started to drink, then the power

might turn around and focus on any one of us.

And when it landed on me, I would just be overwhelmed.

And I would just withdraw.

And I might go to my room in tears or whatever.

That's what clipped.

The powerful impact of passion

that I couldn't do anything with.

Now granted, in the rational sense there's no logic,

there's no adequate connection.

I mean the occasion that happened a week ago

wasn't in proportion.

It just tripped that little trigger.

And I realized that within me then is trigger set

for powerful passion to which there is no answer.

It can't be talk, dialogue, program, nothing.

That was the childhood thing

and that's what has to be healed in me.

If I'm going to be able to deal with the brethren

and their various needs and delinquencies.

And I think this can be healed and now that I see

more of the connection and so that's really what I wanted

to share with you, that connection,

and why it hit me so deep.

Also I think there's an added element,

my vaunted intuition, opens me up very sensitively

to the brethren.

And I might hear something say from our Brother privately

that would reveal a very delicate area of his life.

Then it's very difficult for me to handle something

that comes in powerfully and disregards that.

I've got two things going somehow.

My intuition is sensitively open

and I've got to deal with the powerful force

that doesn't regard that.

- It grinds me, it hurts me when anybody,

not a name in particular, when anybody

disunites one section of the church from the other.

As if the whole thing isn't one constant flow of Christ.

- Yeah. - You see?

Even the bad parts, even when something hurts

in our own body, it's still my body.

- But you have to get that whole concept first.

Otherwise you're just going to see it in parts.

- That's why I get so frustrated at priests

in the church who don't understand Chardin.

That's what he was talking about too.


- This morning our Lord brings us into the profound mystery

of creation and the one behind or within creation.

He uses his two friends, both are his friends,

Martha and Mary.

On many occasions he shows his love for them both.

And we have taken this almost dichotomous relationship

between Martha and Mary as a symbol of the frenetic

activism and the controlled, quiet wisdom.

But actually Martha and Mary are in us both.

As St. Martha and as St. Mary.

In us both.

We're not very well put together

because Martha has to go to the Lord

and say won't you please speak to Mary?

Why doesn't she speak to Mary directly?

They're not communicating very well

in this morning's situation.

In the Martha and Mary relationship,

we can get glimpse of ourselves

operating under two different qualities

of the human soul.

That Martha quality,

that is searching relentlessly, aggressively,

possessively to deal with all the things of creation.

And that Mary quality that is looking through,

contemplating, you might say, the one thing behind

all the many things.

And we see that in the Martha quality the egoism

of us all is revealed in a certain way.

What does the ego do in the Martha quality

with the whole of creation?

It takes it apart.

Or it leaves it apparently fragmented.

Martha is dealing with all these apparently

disconnected things

and they don't fit together and she's worried

and fretting to try to get the meal on the table.

This is what the ego does when it's possessed

by the Martha quality.

It is overwhelmed with the disconnection of things

and it tries desperately to put them together

but the ego cannot do it.

Because the ego is possessing.

The ego is managing.

And the things of this world were not meant

to be managed by the ego.

And as soon as the ego runs into another ego

there's war.

But in the Mary quality the ego calms down.

The ego has learned that it is fruitless to try

to manage, possess, desire, acquire all these things.

Even for the good of other people,

which we as religious would say we're dealing with

these things for the good of other people.

Then why do we fight over things?

Who left the rake out overnight?


All these things are only the meeting place,

the arena for the egos.

But in the Mary quality there is a wisdom

that has been gained.

You don't possess things and they do have a unity.

They have an ecology.

If you don't understand that you pollute the world

by the way you use things but when you see

the interconnection and the harmony and the unity

the one thing behind the many,

then you gain the wisdom.

Mary begins to look through the things of this world.

Mary is searching for the one thing.

A hint in the face, a gesture,

the way light and shadow go,

the way things rest upon one another

and relate, wood and stone, sky and earth,

the way they live together in unity.

Mary is looking up for wisdom.

And she begins to find it in beauty.

In truth.

In the goodness of all creation.

But this is not the end of Martha and Mary.

We find that the ultimate mystery of which St. Paul

was speaking of in the Epistle, the ultimate mystery

is Christ.




Christ looking at us and asking us,

will you listen?

So that your house may be built on rock?

Will you listen?

So that you may be my brother, my sister,

my mother, my father?

Will you listen, really, deeply, like Mary,

sitting at the feet of truth?

That you may be happy.

Will you listen that the Father and the Spirit and I

may come to dwell within you?