|WOMAN IN BREUER CHAIR WEARING OSKAR SCHLEMMER MASK
Every morning for years, as part of my morning prayer, I have read a little bookmark called “Just For Today.”
It begins, “Just for today, I will try to live through this day only. and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.”
Another passage runs:
“Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anyone but myself.” [emphasis mine].
I often think of St. Therese of Lisieux, who apparently made it a spiritual practice to complain about nothing. She suffered terribly from the cold in her unheated Carmelite convent, but apparently refrained from even putting her hands inside her sleeves to warm them so as not to make a show of the fact that she was suffering.
She was no humorless faux martyr, though, which is what makes her especially attractive to me. Certain people drove her crazy: she writes about them with affection and humor in her autobiography. She didn’t try to force herself to not be driven crazy by them. She just tried to love them anyway, through Christ; to be kind to them even though she felt not an iota of spontaneous feeling.
So this morning I thought: I am going to try to “fast” this Lent not from sugar, not from meat, not from swearing, but from COMPLAINING.
The “Just for Today” bookmark ends with the St. Francis prayer–“Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace”…
Wishing you all a rich and fruitful Lent.
And seriously, I am ENJOYING the leaf blowers!
WOMAN IN THE SUN, 1961