Twice in the last six months I’ve visited Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, a Trappist Monastery in Conyers, not far from where I live near Atlanta. I had only been there two or three times previously, in all the years that I’ve lived here; never mind all my interest in contemplative spirituality and mysticism. Here is one of the most dedicated living traditions of Western mysticism, a tradition with a documented lineage of over 900 years, and I’ve basically just ignored it. To my own loss, to be sure!
Well, better late than never, and so one of the threads I want to follow given my current spiritual adventure is to seek out a spiritual director, either from the Trappist or the Jesuit communities (there’s a Jesuit retreat center in north Atlanta). So today I wrote a letter to the office of the Lay-Cistercians, a community of lay contemplatives associated with the Trappists. I asked if the Lay-Cistercians have any programming that I could explore, and I also inquired about a spiritual director.
Here’s what’s funny: no email address is provided on the monastery website for the Lay-Cistercians. Only a snail mail address is given. So I am writing to them using the old fashioned letter/envelope/stamp method! It feels so odd. And yet, in a way, it feels perfectly right. Even if the person who receives my letter responds promptly, it will be sometime next week before I receive a reply. In the meantime, I will have no choice but to exercise the supremely contemplative virtue of patience!
So… I’ll try to keep this journal updated as to whether or not I find a spiritual director among the Cistercians, or the Jesuits, or some other way. Plus, it will be interesting to explore my interfaith interests with such a director…