Monastic Strategies: Our Souls Cry Out For Something More

Monastic Strategies: Our Souls Cry Out For Something More May 6, 2021

Monastic Strategies: Our Souls Cry Out For Something More

Our Souls Cry Out For Something More

We have survived the pandemic, protecting and preserving ourselves and whatever else we could. Some of us feel we have done more than we expected, more than we imagined we could. We have now arrived at a place beyond where we thought we could get, and our souls cry out for something more.

There are times when what we have lost overwhelms us. Many of us have set aside people and possessions and places we thought we needed and our souls cry out for something more.

We have learned to wear masks and stay distant to help ourselves and the people we love stay healthy. Some of us have been vaccinated. Many of us have been strong in the face of disasters and losses. We are still alive, and our souls cry out for something more.

“Back to normal” is not enough for us. We are not looking back to how things were before the pandemic. What will the future feel like? Will there ever be a time after the pandemic? When will we get beyond feeling exhausted or discouraged or despairing?

These months have changed how we live and what we believe, and we are not eager to go back to where we were. The world is a different place than it was before. How will we live today, or tomorrow?

Some of us have been fairly safe and secure, locking ourselves and our families in our protected homes. We see the pictures of people around the world, and across our country struggling to survive. Many of us believe in the power of science and technology to keep us safe, though our souls cry out for something more.

Where will we turn to find what our souls desperately need? How will we find what we need?

Why Do Our Souls Cry Out For Something More?

Many of us have spent more than a year in nearly constant fear and anxiety. A worldwide pandemic of a new lethal virus sends the clear message we do not have things under control. The climate of the planet changing in ways which make it more difficult for us to survive discourages us. The ongoing pain and turmoil of police officers using deadly force against our fellow citizens dissolves our hope.

We look at the world around us and our souls cry out for something more.

At the same time, we recognize the root causes of our anxiety and fear, our discouragement and hopelessness within ourselves. When we see the violence and pain and destruction in the world, we begin to appreciate our own responsibility.

It is easy for us to get caught up in arguing about the rightness of our own causes instead of trying to help. We are often more inclined to justify our own actions, or inactions, than to be willing to listen and reflect.

Deep within ourselves we know there is more to us than we have shown so far. There is more we can do and become, and our souls cry out for something more.

There are times when we sit in the dark, late at night, unable to sleep. Sometimes we do not even understand what is keeping us awake. We wish we could close our eyes and forget what is bothering us, what we cannot put into words. When we try to run away in our minds and hide in our sleep, our souls cry out for something more.

What more can we do? Where can we look for relief? How will we meet this need, overcome this obstacle? Who can help us?

When Our Souls Cry Out For Something More

I practice listening to sacred stillness. It is the spiritual life in our souls which cries out for something more.

Sometimes people do not appreciate the deep questions and crying of our souls. They try to tell us not to recognize when our souls cry out for something more.

Challenging experiences have taught me to listen and respect when our souls cry out. It may not happen at convenient times or be politically savvy, but I have learned it is important to listen.

There have been times when it was disruptive or did not fit into carefully organized structures. Sometimes we do not enjoy hearing what our souls have to tell us. There is wisdom in our souls and it is helpful to listen and pay attention when our souls cry out for something more.

Our souls do not want us to be satisfied with skimming across the surface of life. They draw us deeper, to the heart of the situation underneath the surface. Each of us can learn to be attentive to the cries of our own souls, and the souls of others.

The cries of our souls call to us.

What Do Our Souls Cry Out For Now?

Each of us needs to practice listening to our souls crying out and understanding what they ask us to do.

Our practice grows from a base of restful awareness. This has been a harrowing time for us, and many of us need to spend time in stillness. Without stillness we are not able to listen and pay attention. We are not able to hear and understand.

We need to confess our centeredness on ourselves and practice being open to our own souls.

There are souls around the world crying out for something more. Our own souls cry in harmony with the souls of people everywhere. Each one cries in its own language.

The rhythms of stillness rise and fall, filling us and spreading out into the world. When we learn to listen we hear the voices of souls.

We sit still with our eyes closed, breathing deeply, listening to the cries of our souls. The stillness all around us, and within us, is filled with souls crying for something more.

Why do our souls cry out for something more?

When will we listen to our souls cry out for something more this week?

[Image by e³°°°]

Greg Richardson is a spiritual director in Southern California. He is a recovering assistant district attorney and associate university professor, and is a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.


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