Don’t ask. This topic just popped into my compendium of Lay Cistercian practices for my consideration.
Whenever we use words, the user (me) has assumptions that have taken a lifetime to associate with that word, and the receiver uses the same lifetime of assuming what the word means to them. When I say I have a masculine and a feminine side to my Lay Cistercian contemplative prayer life, I DO NOT mean gender differences that exist in the physical universe. I am a male by gender. I have a masculine and feminine side to the prayer life that I never knew existed. There is something to think about when I try to apply my prayers in the mental universe (that of purpose and my particular purpose in life). If I am to fulfill my quest to be fully human, one that The Christ Principle can be of help, then a masculine and feminine dimension to my prayer can help me be whole.
Remember when Genesis, the great archetypal story of what human nature should be like, and actually is? It says, “It is not good for a male to be alone.” God creates a female, and they are joined together as one. Applying the Christ Principle to this statement might have an obvious and more sophisticated meaning. First, humans need each other; males need females for procreation. Suppose this story is a classical myth and Adam represents all humanity while Eve represents all humanity. In that case, my thoughts run to thinking that males by themselves need that infusion of purpose from their feminine side to be wholly human. The two shall be one.
As a Lay Cistercian, I recently applied this to my prayer life, which is what the Holy Spirit showed me (remember, none of this stuff is normal for me).
My Lay Cistercian life has four separate boxes, with The Christ Principle being my center. It might look like this. The Christ Principle is my center.
|REALM OF THE MIND||REALM OF THE HEART|
|What my masculine side provides.||What my feminine side provides.|
AUTHORITY AND FAITH
The Christ Principle
My adoption by Christ
My acceptance of the Holy Spirit
Freely offer my will to the Father
Dying to Self
| SERVICE AND GOOD WORKS |
Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
Chapter 4, Rule of St. Benedict
Tallahassee Lay Cistercian discernment group
| INFORMATION AND REASON Primacy of Holy Scriptures|
Writings of the Early Church
Writings of St. Benedict
Writings of Cistercian authors
YouTube of Bishop Barron and others
LOVE THROUGH CONTEMPLATION
Reconciliation and Penance
Liturgy of the Hours
“Do what he tells you.”