Turns out I’m spending Thanksgiving at home and I’m so grateful! What with the phone, zoom, my many neighbors, Mass, and the long walk I’ll take, I will be far from alone.
In fact, I’ve been mightily reflecting upon this past year and the many gifts it’s brought.
One of them, maybe, is the message…The Kingdom of God is at hand. It’s already here. It’s been here. It will be here without any effort on my part. I just get to tap into it…
I tend to tell myself, vis-a-vis work, that I should get together a little bit more of a “business plan.” Often when I’m spending another hour or two typing out passages from, for example, books I have read and loved, searching for an image, formatting, laying out, say just a simple blog post, I’ll think–Seriously, why are you putting forth all this effort? Maybe 100 people come to my site each day. After ten years. Thousands of dollars spent to make it beautiful; thousands of hours spent transmitting my enthusiasm.
And, as I reflected in last week’s arts and culture column, I’m overpaid. It’s all work and it’s all prayer and it’s all joy and Lord, I am not worthy.
A few of you lend financial support, a fact of which I am pulsatingly aware and for which I am undyingly grateful.
And I’m also beyond grateful for the rest of you who come and read and comment once in a while or who prefer not to, which is TOTALLY FINE. Thank you, thank you.
Because lately I’ve been realizing–this is it. This isn’t the means to a bigger, flashier, more effective end. This is the FRUIT of my life. The blog is a small part of it, but I mean the whole thing: the books, the column, the workshops, through all of which in some bizarre, miracle-of-the-loaves-and-fishes way, I have cobbled together a humane living. But more than that, the connections. The personal connections. And above and below all of that, of course, the prayer. The Sacraments. Christ.
Yesterday just for the heck of it I opened a Word doc, entitled it “Circle People” and started randomly typing the many, many names that came to mind. People who have shared their stories, conflicts, troubles and joys, asked me for prayers, offered their own, invited me to wrestle with an issue of the day, griped, laughed, enrolled in my Writing Workshops, inspired me with their own crazy fantastic art or writing or insights or blog posts. Bought my books, took the time to compose gorgeous, smart, funny notes to say what they liked about them. Sent me quotes, prayer cards, and a VERY SPECIAL print of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, that hangs over my desk. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!! YES, YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!!!
Some are priests; some would not step foot in a church of any kind if you paid them. Some, I’d wager, voted one way earlier this month; some voted another.
And I wonder if…this kind of small circle, available to all of us, requiring no special training, charism, gift…and thus utterly within our reach if we’re only willing to stretch a little, risk a little, leave our comfort zones…is not one way that we can and are perhaps called to evangelize. To spread the Gospels, by which I simply mean love, to the ends of the earth.