The extraordinary in the ordinary...

Two of my favorite books are by Joan Chittister: Wisdom Distilled from the Daily and The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages. For some reason I am being drawn back to the later as a grounding in daily prayer. For years I used this as a jumping off point for meditation - and then for about 12 years did not - only to find over the past few weeks my heart being drawn back to it again. Hmmmm...

The reading for today includes this little gem:

Where shall I look for Enlightenment asked the seeker? Here said the Holy One. When will it happen? It is happening right now. Then why don't I experience it? Because you do not look... What should I look for? Nothing... just look. At what? Anything your eyes alight upon. Must I look in a special kind of way? No, the ordinary way will do. But don't I always look the ordinary way? No... you don't. Why ever not? Because to look you must be here - and you are mostly somewhere else.

I guess I am ready for a more focused and disciplined type of prayer: reflections on being here now, chanting the psalms, quiet meditation. For a long, long time this seemed sterile... but not so anymore. Hmmm....

Tomorrow I leave for Maryland to visit my father who was recently hospitalized. I really don't want to be away from my wife for a week. I really don't want to spend all that time driving. Indeed, I don't want to do anything but... so many things are really not about me, yes? So off I go - on a pilgrimage of sorts - to see what is right before my eyes. On the trip back I will stop off in NYC to visit my daughter and share a glass of wine and some conversation. And I will have a chance to see my three sisters while at my dad's - all blessings.

It feels like this old song by Blind Faith: indeed, somebody must change and I think it is me...


Create in me a clean heart, o God and renew a right spirit within me. Have mercy on me, Lord, according to your steadfast love... and blot out all my offenses. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin... do not cast me away from your presence and do not take your holy spirit from me. (Psalm 51)
photo credit: dianne de mott

Comments

Rev Nancy Fitz said…
I need to get back to Benedict's rule also. FUnny its another spot on which we agree. 'My' church is across the potomac river in Arl. VA, if your trip to MD takes you to this area, let me know if I can do anything to make your stay easier.
safe travel
RJ said…
thank you so much nancy... more after i get there

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