Phil Soucheray, Visitation Companion, Blogger

Phil Soucheray, Visitation Companion, Blogger

Hi there.

My name is Phil. I’m a Vis Companion, which is another way of saying that I am a purpose driven life wanna-be who knows he has a lot to learn before he’s fulfilled his potential.

As it happens, I believe the model of Salesian spirituality as displayed and taught by the sisters of the Visitation Monastery of Minneapolis offers me the education I need to keep me moving toward my ultimate objective. As it also happens, I have been at my efforts long enough to know that I am not likely to ever get there in this life. But I’m here to tell you that it’s all about the adventure anyway, so I carry on carrying on.

I also have the audacity to think that I have some ability in the way of communication (and apparently I’ve managed to hoodwink the good sisters into thinking the same thing), so I have been invited to contribute to this blog on occasion.

As with anything that is new, I have no idea where this endeavor will take me. For all I know it could stretch me to a point where I end up feeling like Elastic Man of comic book fame. Hopefully, my musings will be engaging enough to attract your attention and perhaps provoke you in ways that stretch you, too.

If you are familiar with the roots of Salesian spirituality you know that one of the foundational tenets is that living a devout life, one that puts God at the center of things, isn’t something reserved for priests and religious. No, St. Francis and St. Jane hold to the line that every person, in every walk of life, is called to a devout life and can live one if they maintain a practice of prayer and contemplation that keeps God at the center.

If you’re like me, though, you find it to be a challenge to keep that focus. In a world where we are faced with an ever-growing array of informational inputs it’s easy to become distracted by all the noise. Because of that, I have found that I need to regularly stop and simplify. You’ll likely see me touching on this theme a lot as I continue blogging here. And here’s my first little reflection.

When disrupted by distractions, I try to employ a basic rule of meditation which is, have a mantra and, amid the hubbub, redirect your mind to it. For what it’s worth, here’s my mantra.

“Love God. Live Jesus.”

For me, it doesn’t get any simpler than that. Easy to remember. Easy to get my head around. And to this point, I think those four words have provided good curbs as I walk the road toward living out the purpose for which I believe I was made.

What works for you? Maybe by sharing our stories with each other we’ll all move ahead.


Jody T · May 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Welcome to the blog Phil! For me, what works varies through the seasons of my life. Sometimes it is a mantra, sometimes it is just taking deep breaths, sometimes it is exploring a different kind of prayer, and sometimes in the midst of all the hubbub I just have to ground myself by placing my feet, sans shoes, on the floor.
Have mantras always worked for you, or are there other things that have worked?

Jeff pearson · May 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Nice to see you as an addition!

Lately I’ve combined my 25+ years of Salesian study with some Buddhist disciplines which add some simple disciplines to our Salesian traditions. In some cases these disciplines can keep me from entering into the chaos.

Again welcome and look forward to your thoughts.

Joe · May 3, 2013 at 7:33 am

Phil, thank you for choosing to share your gifts! My mantra is “peace, patience, grace, guidance.” This one over time has helped me slow down or speed up as needed. Always with a focus on listening to God.

Phil · May 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hi Jody.

My meditation practices began when I was a teen under the encouragement of my mom, a Vis Companion before I think there ever was such as thing. At the time I stuck my toe in, the focus was more on the power of positive thinking and reciting affirmations. Not quite mantras, but they were useful and formative steps. Practice doesn’t make perfect in my case, but it does, I think, make progress.

Anna D · May 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Thanks for sharing, Phil! I especially appreciate your reference to Elastic Man. I love your mantra “Love God. Live Jesus.” I don’t have a consistent mantra, but some things I like to tell myself are “Embrace the imperfections” and “It’s an adventure.” I really like St. Francis’s idea that God loves me for who I am, a big bundle of mess: “Be who you are, and be that well.”

Miles · June 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m
planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

Contemplative practice: Just do it! | Visitation Monastery of Minneapolis · June 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm

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