SOPHIA SEEKING. By Prior Daniel Manger O.S.B.,Cam.
Consider for a moment the awakening of yourself to the presence of Sophia (Divine Wisdom). A daily acknowledgement within our spirited engagement of reality within the mundane elements of our lives requires a desire to take measures both of time as gift and the meter of silence that we make allowance for amidst the dine of the postmodern cybernetic atmosphere we westerners are preoccupied with.
Sophia was revealed in the Book of Wisdom in the Old Testament as one who seeks out those who desire her. The purpose is to create within our understanding the ‘friendship with God’. Our desire is one that emerges for instruction in love of her presence and availability to ‘heed her law for the final purpose of immortality as a result of friendship with the living God. To honor Sophia is to acknowledge her seeking to hide no secrets from you but rather to reveal the traces of her creative process within and at labor to bring forward an eternal birthing of knowledge of truth devoid of envy or possessive self-centered individualism. Sophia accompanies within the companions who are friends with God in association with her guidance the stability of love, as a privilege to share amidst the deserts of the hearts of our fellow human beings, that have no knowledge of Sophia’s desire.
Sophia does not incarnate her presence with the clever, or the intelligent in their own pragmatic self-estimation. Sophia associates herself with the lowly, emptying herself in spaciousness of heart, aware of the deepest hunger for the source living bread, a manna that as the Catholic and Orthodox liturgies recall in their Eucharistic prayers, “fruit of the vine and the work of human hands’. The elements that need a completion, a sculpting labor of Sophia’s spirit to render bread for eternal living, to be shared in this living way on this planet, in this universe and will transfigure us into the company of saints, as friends of God we are becoming.
The Book of Wisdom instruct us in chapter 7 that ‘without guile or grudging’ one must not hide her wealth for others. This Saint Romuald embodied in his sojourn, as in the 1000 years of many monks and nuns and oblates have and continue to do. They along with Saint Romuald discovered the ‘unfailing treasure’ of Sophia’s presence and her stewarding of them, in teaching them the way to perennially consider their own calling to be friend and befriend others in the ‘privilege of love’.
All of natural word in its manifold presences around us , galaxies, lightening bugs, plants, rivers and oceans, birds and butterflies, sense the great gift of life as together they form a symphony of self donation to one another, in a reciprocity of common life. Why is it that our intelligence often ignores and disrupts and diminishes them by exploitation without giving anything back in return, except the legacy of harm and neglect as we render to our own species? The disease is in our heart-spirit obsessed with fear and no knowledge of self entrustment, called faith in the New Testament by Jesus, the incarnation of Sophia. “Consider the Lillies of the field they neither sow nor reap and even Solomon on all is glory was not arrayed as one of these.”
Life begets life not exclusively but diaphanously , the vestigia Dei, the fingerprint of God upon all things. The great contemplative spirit that arrived among us in Saint Romuald and has never departed from us because Sophia seeks still to awaken within each of us the adventure of her wisdom revealing new passages and horizons of hope and life, if we pray for awakened desire for her, making space for the silence within.
We are a community of Camaldolese Benedictine monks who live in community together and pray along with visiting guests, oblates and friends.
The life a Camaldolese Benedictine monk centers on the seeking of Jesus Christ through the ancient, but ever new, monastic heritage of Saint Benedict, as enriched by Saint Romuald.
This life radiates outward in various rhythms, involving him in solitude and community, silence and fraternal encounter, prayer and work, study and recreation.
He is dedicated to the love and praise of God in the bond of fraternal charity.
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