From my notebook…
11 April, 2017
6:45 AM…Cat on the
window sill, coffee in the mug. With the
window open about an inch, fresh air eases the closed in feeling of a winter
whose time has past. It’s nice. This, from the reflection in Give Us this
Day, before reading the front sections of the paper…
~The death and
resurrection of the Lord is not a past event we re-enact through the tableaus
of Holy Week. Rather, it is a dynamic
mystery that plays out in the holy chaos of our lives.~ Fr. Edward Foley
I like that…and then,
I look at our world and wonder—Is it *holy* chaos, the bombings of whatever
sort in Syria; the Coptic church bombings in Egypt; the lorry-as-a-weapon
crashes in London and Stockholm; the volatility of Russia’s relationship with
nearly anyone of late; the fact that Arkansas wants to execute seven inmates in
There seems little
that is holy in any of that. And an enormous amount of chaos.
And then I remember
the Kandinski mobile of evening light on the buildings last night during
prayer. I recall seeing seams of earth
splitting with the life force of a stem less than a centimeter long. I notice that Lauds is again being sung by a
robust choir of songbirds, recently returned from unnamed adventures during
There seems plenty
holy in that. And a healthy amount of chaos too, though of an entirely
When I hold both of
these sets of observations together, I arrive at a somewhat unexpected place. In
the middle of our General Chapter 2016 document. Specifically, I find myself considering one
of the four calls named by the Chapter:
To live more humanly:
In the radical style of Jesus of Nazareth, we wish to be in closer
relationship as sisters with one another and with others; we wish to be
simpler, more human and closer to people and their experience, in order to show
forth the joyful and compassionate face of God and to be at the service of
Life, wherever we are sent.
To hold as much truth
as we can is an extraordinary amount of chaos to bear. And if I am honest, I hold my portion best
when I am at my most human. Most
vulnerable. Most free, transparent,
honest… because that makes room within me for Love. Love is what allows me to hold Truth, to bear
the chaos that comes with it and not be completely undone by it.
Love allows me to
enter the whole mess of Truth that is what it means to be fully human. Bombs. Blooms. Evil. Awe. Love. Humanity.
Love. Divinity. Love. Death. Love. Resurrection. Love.
And my model is Jesus.
Who was hated and loved. Rejected and followed. Who was anointed and who
blessed. Who cleared the temple, wept, and asked that “if you are willing, remove this cup from
me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” Who
died on a cross. Who rose.
Should it be your
will, O God, may I have the courage through Love to enter in so entirely and
with such fullness of Humanity.
(NB: Image is of an icon painted on the wall in the RSCJ novitiate in Poland)