Monday, March 14, 2016

A Retreat Message: Touch the clouds with the hope to find Heaven

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, [www.pbs.gov.ph] 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday


 When one goes to the mountain there is that definite feeling that he is closer to God.  With the summit under his feet he touches the clouds.  The clouds open and he hopes to find the gate of Heaven.

But the gate is not there.  Beyond the clouds is nothingness. 

Concept of the Tower of Babel by artists and historians (Wiki, Internet)


We come to think whatever happened to the Tower of Babel! And what happened to the twin towers of the World Trade Center bombing? Is history repeating itself? Will man ever learn?

By the time you will have time to read this message you shall have settled down at the retreat house on Mount St. Paul.  You will not find, of course, the gate of Heaven, figuratively speaking.

But there on this solemn piece of Eden you will be surrounded by towering pine trees and honored by bouquets of flowers bathed with morning sun and dewdrops that heighten the ambiance of adoration and faith as words of praise and wisdom will fill the hall.  Here you will be enveloped by security and peace.  

The twin towers of the World Trade Center, before and after the attack on September 11, 2001 

While the outside world grinds cruel and chaotic.  It is the world you leave behind for the time being.  By being detached you may find a better vantage point to see the difference of perfection and imperfection

But it is not your purpose to be critics.  For one who judges is too, judged.  Rather, the whole idea is to see where you are going.  And it is clear: it is towards the way to perfection even if perfection itself is impossible to attain.  It is to what extent you reach for it that matters most.  It is a struggle, and a long and painful one at that.  

Some would say, all this is rhetorics. They may be right, for this world has had too much of this already.  And this may be another one from a certain Bob Rowland.  It goes like this. 

     "I was hungry, and you formed a human rights club to discuss the politics of my            anger, thank you;

      I was imprisoned, and you crept off quietly to your chapel in the cellar, 

       and prayed for my release;

      I was naked, and in your mind you debated the morality of my nakedness;

      I was homeless, and you preached to me about my home in heaven;

      I was lonely, and you left me alone to attend to your Sunday obligation;

     You seem so holy, so close to God, but I am still very hungry, lonely 
     and homeless."

The Tower of Babel fell. Do did the Twin Towers.

It is my intention to stimulate you to think deeply.  Maybe it is best to start by asking.  "How good is good enough?" before you embark on separating the grains from the chaff, so to speak,  You know that well-filled grains don't go easily with the chaff but in reality they do.

When you have reached this point, I wish you have time to ponder on these verses.   

      Rich in the pocket, least in his heart
      his life did make, is a vulture's art.

      Fewer are the grains in number 
      when the tillers fell into slumber.

     The weak makes up for its frailty
     in number and simplicity.

      Cream on top, whatever's inside,
      make way for the hero and his bride.

      Sinner or saint, saint or sinner;
      never, never a cycle over;
      no matter what and where
      that the past is redeemed - or never.

     If there is a fourth king
     other than the first three;
     make me a fifth being 
     that I'll suffer for Thee.

     God is everywhere yet discreet
     in many ways beyond our pain,
     in our sleep or with busy feet
     in far away places on the plain.

"Come, come to me in silence or in song, that I may hear you better among the throng."

Good luck to you all and may you be blessed with God's grace in your contemplative moment.  

NOTE: The author is eager to hear any feedback from the retreatants to whom this message was dedicated some 14 years ago. 

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