I came back to the monastery, to my room, and it was filled with light. What happened? My room is like a cave, the sun shut out by a big wide evergreen tree outside my window. I look out the window. Oh! No tree. It was cut down. I liked my room because it was dark. I felt like a hermit living in a cave. Now I live in sunlight. I can see aspen tress and mountains. Is this not a metaphor for the spiritual life? First we are not prayerful. Then we are prayerful, but with ideas of how it will all play out. I will be a hermit, hidden away in the monastery. My room gives me a sense of being separated from the world of light. I could go visit the light, but then come back to the darkness. God is hidden in the darkness. God seems to have other plans, and seems, in my case, to be quite out in the open light. God wants me connected with the world. Maybe for all of us, it is OK to now and again enter into a retreat setting or the interior darkness of ourselves. Yes, God can be found in this way, but God also wants us to come out into the light and be light for others. So now, my monastery seems to be bathed in light. But it is very cold inside. Can God be found in the cold? I am working on it. I hate suffering. But, as with yesterday's blog, I have a second chance to examine the cold and see what positive things are here. So far, just cold.