Monday, January 1, 2018

listen to your life...

St. Francis of Assisi affirms that there is "only one enduring spiritual insight and everything else follows from it: The visible world is an active doorway to the invisible world, and the invisible world is much larger than the visible. This is “the mystery of incarnation,” the essential union of the material and the spiritual worlds, or simply “Christ.” (Richard Rohr meditation, 1/1/18) Frederick Buechner says much the same thing in less theological language when he writes: "Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

In my encounter with incarnation and life, today was constructed upon the quiet and littleness of the Christ Child's birth within and among us. We rang in the New Year by watching MST 3000 at home, sipping red wine together and being at rest on a chill-some night. Last year we endured a blizzard to get to Montreal, but there are other roads to travel in 2018. So, after breakfast tea and newspaper reading, I cleaned the kitchen before spending a few hours adding insulation to our windows. Our home, you see, was built in the 1950s, well before up-to-date insulation was a concern or even a possibility. Temperatures will be hovering at 0 F for the next seven to ten days, so now was the time to seal out the frost. This was the most significant act of the day - and it felt holy to make our home a little more cozy and warm. Not a great feat, but a small and loving act of caring for one another.

When it grew dark, I lit the Advent and Christ Candles again: honoring the full 12 days of Christmas makes my heart sing. Soon, we will cook up a peasant supper of beans, rice, cheese and greens as yet another way of marking our journey into a simple 2018.  Without knowing it, I found my heart was singing "Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos" by Rachmaninoff as I was writing this. This is how I feel at the close of a warm and quiet day. Thanks be to God...

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a spirituality of l'arche - part five

NOTE: I thought I would finish this series up earlier this week but on my way to some commitments, as John Lennon used to say, life happened...