Between the spider-bite thing, M not working, and now the move, things are a bit tight around here. (Of course, that’s nothing new for us…) Despite that, M and I are planning to send a donation to the Order of Julian of Norwich to help their expansion plan.
I feel very strongly about supporting this endeavor–and here’s why…
We Anglicans are a liturgical people. We believe that prayer matters. We believe that forming people into the mind of Christ matters. The catholic side of Anglicanism has strongly supported the retention of monastic forms and communities. It’s not because monastics are better or inherently more holy than the rest of us, some kind of spiritual super-class. Rather, it is a recognition of vocation.
We’re all called to do things in this world. We’ve all been given natural and spiritual gifts and graces. Those who excel in the gifts and skills needed to be geophysicists–and who are called to do it—ought to darn well go and be geophysicists. Yes, they could bag groceries or drive a desk, but to have the gifts, to have the calling and to reject it is to reject part of what God invites us into. The same is true of contemplatives just as geophysicists. Some are called to renounce property, sexual relationships and our highly-prized-though-largely-mythical personal autonomy for a life focused on the process of falling deeper and deeper in love with God and, by extension, his creation.
I’m not one of them.
I’m deeply drawn to things monastic and to our liturgical spirituality. I’m not called to be a monk. I’m called to be a husband and a daddy and I love those things with a passion that confirms my calling to them. However—I can be an oblate. I can be connected to and nourished by a monastic community. I can receive spiritual direction and insight from those whose focus can be more profoundly and constantly directed towards God than my own scattered life. And from them I can learn how to experience my scattered life as a process of falling deeper into love with God.
That’s what this expansion project is about. It’s not just about connecting some buildings in a place in Wisconsin. It’s about connecting members of the community despite increasing mobility problems, and it’s about connecting those of us outside the monastery with those inside it through increasing space and capacity for the monastics to share their wisdom, their folly, their simplicity, their own broken and woundedness with the world.
A lot of people have the wrong idea about philanthropy. They think it’s about giving money away. It’s not. It’s about investing. It’s about investing in your hopes, dreams, and goals in an organization with those same hopes, dreams and goals. An organization that not only shares them but, more importantly, can make a difference with them. I feel the order is one of those; take a look–I think you’ll agree.
I don’t see a PayPal link or anything like that at the moment, but if you feel moved, shoot off a check to :
OJN Expansion Fund
The Order of Julian of Norwich
2812 Summit Avenue
Waukesha, WI 53188-2781