Although I've kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, I find it difficult to express my deepest gratitude, my unabashed love and the innermost depths of my heart on the occasion of Blessed Thomas Keating's entrance into Life Eternal.
I have never met him personally but the transmission of his Light, of his Presence, of his humility, of his Spiritual Authority over the years through the videos has been great. I feel he knows me, somehow! I 'know' him!
I first listened to The Contemplative Journey in the late nineties as we drove from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Of all the wisdom he imparted on two albums of tapes, I remember Brother Bernie and his influence on a rather straight- laced Thomas. I loved Thomas' ability to 'take him in' and recognize Bernie's Light! I knew then that Thomas was the genuine article!
The years that followed were not exactly easy but 'on the Path' and filled with joy. I went through a challenge of breast cancer, my mother in her nineties was in decline and I was working full time. I did my best with the daily commitment of two "sits"...but it didn't always happened. We listened to Heartfulness and Death and Dying videos.It all made a huge difference in our lives. I was healed and Mom passed beautifully. As I 'emptied, I was filled. We knew the 'Presence of God' is with us!
I took Lux Divina for Advent in 2017. I thought it was absolutely magnificent! I felt I just had to thank Father Keating, so I sent him a Christmas card! Early in January, an envelope arrived for me, from him, thanking me! His note to me was totally natural, on target, with a tangible sweetness. It hangs,ever close, on my frig. Now retired and 'free as a bird', I signed up for THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY, the greatest grace of my life. Father told us he wanted to leave this as his legacy. Early on, I was 'unplugged' from the institutional church due to spiritual abuse. With Father Thomas, I have found my spiritual home. I have the road map! I have made more progress this year, because I understand the process, than I could ever have imagined! We, all, are so fortunate to find, imbibe and live the true teaching in the contemplative Church. I intend to dedicate myself to the work of Contemplative Outreach for the rest of my life.
There is the poignancy of his leaving his physical body...but there is much greater joy, the afterglow descending on us who 'catch' our portion of his mantle. So be it!