Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thought for the Day: The Desert Experience

. . . What a terrifying experience is the feeling that . . . 
what you took for a relationship with God
was in fact only yourself talking to yourself. 
Sooner or later this experience comes to everyone
 who tries to love God and to live a life of prayer.
There is no way to prepare for it adequately or to avoid it, 
for it is God who calls you to this desert experience. . . .*
~ Murray Bodo, O.F.M.

* This quote is from the section "Winter" in Song of the Sparrow: New Poems and Meditations, St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1989.

Murray Bodo is a Franciscan priest, a poet whose collections include The Earth Moves at Midnight, and the author of numerous books, including Mystics: Ten Who Show Us the Ways of God, Landscape of Prayer, the best-seller Francis: The Journey and the Dream, The Way of St. Francis: The Challenge of Franciscan Spirituality for Everyone, and The Place We Call Home. Bodo also is published in such renowned literary magazines as The Paris Review and Image Journal. His appreciation of poet Denise Levertov is published here and his essay "At Thomas Merton's Hermitage" is here.

Bodo lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and spends summers in Assisi, Italy, as a staff member of Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs.


Glynn said...

Okay, you hooked me. Now I have to check his writings out.

nAncY said...

the word terrifying is like that dun dun dun dun music in the horror flicks when something bad is about to happen.

M.L. Gallagher said...

I'm with Glynn. Hooked and checking him out!

S. Etole said...

I was just pondering a similar thought last night ...


Because I'm a Merton fan I decided to check out the Bodo essay you mentioned above. Even as I scanned down the page, I thought this is tooooo long, not now, and then I just stopped and relaxed into it. It was SO worth the read. Thank you so much. I'm printing out Bodo's words re Levertov for bedside reading. Thank you again!