Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The House of one's soul

(picture of house on our drive to the monastery)
There was one monk at the
monastery that Mr. Husband and I visited
last weekend
who only knew Russian.
As we were about to leave,
this monk said to us
through another monk who interpreted
that he was thinking of the
honeycomb shape of the woodpiles
that he builds.
I had seen these woodpiles and noticed them
for their circular shape.
They use the wood to heat their buildings in
good wood stoves.
He said that building the woodpiles
reminded him of
trying to build a house for his soul
and that the first few times he built the woodpile
he would get almost done
and then the whole pile would fall to pieces
and he would get so frustrated.
He can build these piles now...
Mr. Husband and I have talked about
things that got derailed in the last year for us;
for him he spoke of magazines he could not
keep up on;
for me it was some spiritual reading that
I had time for while I was single and working from home.
It is so easy to stray from looking at one's
soul and what is going on there.
And indeed one needs a good confessor to help one
understand what is going on.
I am still figuring out confessor and spiritual father things
here but know that I have my Ottawa spiritual father's prayers
during this time to protect me.
Meanwhile, a few thoughts on what I know I can do...
1. I find it imperative to keep one's lampada
(oil lamp for prayer)
(or a tea light or other candle)
lit daily and at all times
(or at least while you are in the home).
It will really help keep one steady
and can really encourage the heart
when one is feeling inward cold and fog.

2. Confession. Best house keeping for the soul.

3. Visit monasteries.

4. Have a prayer corner / area / wall / even one icon
in one's house and pray there.

5. Seek to keep a rule of prayer, no matter how small
or how badly one feels they do it.
Even, as Mat. Emily's blog post discussed,
if it is going to one's icon corner to ask
God's blessing on the day.
For me this includes seeking to do prayers before
I turn on my computer.
As many of my blog friends may know,
this can be a hard habit to break
if one is in that particular habit...
May the Lord help us build a good house
for our souls and lead us
to His heavenly house and
have mercy on us!

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