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Upon awakening on the morning of Father Keating's death for some 'mysterious' unknown reason, I was compelled to binge-watch his series on Love Matters. As I reflect and consider what it is I would like to express at this moment, I am reminded of the episode about playing games with God. I believe that best articulates my feeling: that I found Father Keating while we both playing a game of Hide & Seek with God. It's a field we've been playing in forever.
The depth of his impact on me is fathomless. He encapsulated, articulated and validated every step on my path that includes all of my steps off of it. He expressed and modeled a faith fit for the who I was becoming; a faith shared out of direct experience. While he was pursuing the monastic life, I was traveling the bumpy route of the hero(ine)'s journey during the 60's with all the associated snares. When I 'met' up with him at a crossroads only a few years back, I couldn't have been more astonished to find a shared theology with this 90+ year old Benedictine monk! His work has made it safe for me to be a Christian again. I found all the greenest tendrils on the leading edge of my own spirituality embedded in his work: the archetypes, the integral theory, the devotional non-duality, the 12 Step Spirituality, my abandoned faith - just to name a few! But the most precious gift was Divine Therapy. It has been healing my heart and opening it up to the love, trust and security of a spiritual father, an Abba.
I never got to meet him in person so I don't feel the same sense of loss or change. I am grateful for the body of work, the body of an organization and the community I am left with. I am grateful that while I was struggling with a 'dark night of the spirit" and he was passing, I reached out for and received so much consolation from my humble abba enroute to his, as I later discovered. The connection was so palpable and such a gift. I am filled to overflowing.