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Monday, April 14, 2014

Holy Week Readings, Day One

This week I am reading Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today by Joan Chittister. In the last five years I have been inordinately drawn to monastic spiritual practices and how they can be pursued without having to hide out in complete seclusion. Here's a great statement from the first chapter:

The spirituality that emerges from the Rule of Benedict is a spirituality charged with living the ordinary life extraordinarily well...  The problem becomes discovering how to make here and now, right and holy for us. (p. 6)

As you and I enter this final week of Lent, in preparation for Easter celebrations, I ask myself where resurrection is needed most in my life. I found this illustration from the book especially resonant, and a profound roadmap to guide me in that question:

Once upon a time, an ancient monastic tale says, the Elder said the businessperson:

     "As the fish perishes on dry land, so you perish when you get entangled in the world. The fish must return to the water and  you must return to the Spirit."

     And the businessperson was aghast. "Are you saying that I must give up my business and go into a monastery?" the person asked.

     And the Elder said, "Definitely not. I am telling you to hold on to your business and go into your heart."

At our weekly times in the park on the Westside, there is a 4 year-old boy named Ernesto who already has a very distinctive personality. He loves to play with carritos (toy cars) and catch balls. You can hear his voice all the way across the park as he plays and laughs. He is an Energizer bunny, endlessly demanding that one of us play with him. Yet as focused as he is on playing hard, his attention will be completely shifted if he sees a butterfly. "¡Mariposa!" he squeals, and starts chasing it, fruitlessly attempting to catch it. He will follow the butterfly throughout the park, up into bushes, across the field, away from everyone.

In the midst of my full and noisy life, I desire that when the Spirit is prompting me, that my attention would be taken away from the urgent and temporal things around me, instead following the Spirit where He leads.

1 comment:

  1. oh how happy i was to read a blog including sweet ernesto -- i can still see him running around the park looking for that mariposa. love when you write, kel!