A Cistern (thoughts at a lay Cistercian meeting)
We are sitting around coffee and sweet cakes and fruits. Treats both foreign and local . We drink and nibble and we stare. We are instructed to stare . We are not staring at one another. We are to find Christ, then find He ” dwells among us”
And , Of course we know it might be impolite, to stare , outside of love . So we are staring at what we are instructed to focus on at the moment. Certain to find Christ . certain to find love. It is of course among us .
Still , We are just staring at a cup. It isn’t really a cup , but it is a picture of a cup. It is a cup placed before a hazy window pane. It is a picture of some reality that we all know . We know about cups of course. We are now drinking from styrofoam cups. And …. The widow panes of our eyes fog as we are
I peek over my syrafoam cup of half drunk, half full coffee . I peek to look at the cup and wait for it to ” tell me what is seen” . I see coffee. Maybe it is hot because the window behind it is quite foggy.And my eyes are too. Everything seems insignificant when the center is just a cup.
It is like a Cistercian . Centered , upward, waiting, could be full or filling. It is like the one teaching us. It is sitting there , face up , staring. Ready , Receiving.
But really, “lets be real “we say to the teacher “ it is just a ….
I think how I don’t know much about Cistercian folk. I forget about the cup in the picture. I close my eyes and suddenly see Cisterns instead of Cistercians. What is a cistern I ask myself not caring that Im not staring at the cup . “It is a tank” I remember, it is made to hold water for something . Maybe flushing toilets.
Perhaps , I am not very close to being a Cistercian who looks at cups and finds treasures of thoughts about Jesus . Perhaps I am a closer to being a cistern.
I might like to be a cistern and hold the water , not the muddy coffee water I make , but hold living water. I would like to hold pure living water to flush away the feces that pollutes souls.My soul.
I will tip my soul open like the face of a cup and see what comes of
I will turn up my cup in the company of Cistercians.
1.Definition of cistern : 1. An artificial reservoir (such as an underground tank) for storing liquids and especially water . 2. A large usually silver vessel formerly used at a dining table (Merriam-Webster-Webster)
2. And the valley he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed food to the Potter to do. Jeremiah 18:4
3. Lay Cistercians are from many different places of work and and church and locale. They practice in their faith journey the rule of Benedict who found a balanced way to keep centered ones life in Gods will. Lay Cistercians do this by the daily patterns of SILENCE , SOLITUDE , PRAYER, COMMUNITY, and WORK.