July 14, 2005
Thank you for your recent letter. I, too, enjoyed our visit together. I am glad to see how you are growing up. I can understand your questioning the life that I lead. I will try to explain it to you as best I can, although it won’t be easy. It is very difficult to explain what Community life is like to one who hasn’t experienced it. I will try, so you can have a special understanding of your aunt who has consecrated herself to God.
Already you may be asking, “What does it mean to consecrate oneself to God?” There are many aspects of God, but we call God the Divine Mother. She is the mother of us all, you and me, all people everywhere, and everything else, too. She made everything and is in everything—at least that’s what we believe. The Divine Mother asked me to come to the Community and live my life here as a gift to Her. We call this “vocation” or “answering a Call.” And since she asked me, that is what I have done. That is what it means to consecrate one’s life to God.
We do practically everything that everyone else does: we laugh and celebrate, work and study, pray and meditate. Only we offer it all to the Divine Mother. It is our gift to Her and to all humanity. It is a gift that we are making to all humanity with our love and sacrifice. Have you noticed that the people who are truly happy are the ones who live to help others and have forgotten about themselves? You can imagine how happy we are, since we have made our whole life an offering. You don’t have to come to the Community to offer your life to God, you can do it anywhere. But this is what She has asked us to do.
We live a life apart from others. This is called a cloistered life, but I think it is easier to understand it if you think of it like living in a greenhouse. We have created a perfect environment for our spiritual development. Everything here is directed toward that end. This is the life that we have chosen to live, but we know that it is not for everyone. The Divine Mother loves Her wild flowers in the field and the towering sequoias as much as She loves Her hothouse tomatoes.
There is one special thing here that I thought you might want to hear about: that is spiritual friendship. Anyone is able to have a spiritual friendship anywhere, but here we kind of specialize in it. Now I think it might be more appropriate to say that Community life is like a laboratory instead of a greenhouse. We experiment in creating more spiritual relationships with each other and everything. Here we have a commitment to the kind of life we are living. This makes it necessary that we learn to live together in a very harmonious way. We are all here to offer ourselves to the Divine Mother and to grow spiritually so that we will have something to offer. We learn to love each other and to treat each other with respect. We accept our companions as they are, knowing that if we think there needs to be any change in our relationship, it is up to us to make it. It is such a beautiful thing. I think it is a real hope for humankind. It is like treating each one of my companions like that precious orchid in the Divine Mother’s garden. And everyone is like that. We treat everyone with this love and respect, because we are all the Divine Mother’s children, aren’t we?
I hope I haven’t confused you. You see Community life is actually neither a greenhouse nor a laboratory. Community life is. It is very hard to explain it. You may wonder why I even bother to try. Maybe it is because when you are older and you start wondering about the meaning of life, you will remember that there are men and women all over the world in different spiritual communities who are giving a meaning to their lives by the way they have chosen to live. This may not be how you will choose to live your life, but it will help you anyway, for you will know that the Divine Mother cares about you and what you do.
Perhaps this is all I should say for now. I have given you enough to think about for a long time. Now, at least, you have some idea what I am doing. Ask your mother to bring you to visit again, so we can laugh and talk as we did last time. I like getting to know you and your brother. Maybe we can even pray a little together. You are always in my prayers, as are all the children of the world, and all the children of the Divine Mother. And besides, we are always together in our hearts.