Greetings from the desk of Heather D. King which is at last more or less cleared of the stacks of St. T of Lisieux books that have claimed my head and heart for the last few months.
I am more convinced than ever (from writing a study guide) of Thérèse’s genius and companionship. More I’m sure on that later, and not that the project is quite complete.
But for the moment my fondest wish is to get back to sharing a little of my life, celebrating writers, artists, and musicians I admire, and more consciously exulting in the minute-to-minute weirdness, complexity, and paradox of life on earth.
Many reflections on recent Gospel readings:
“Store up your treasure in heaven, for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Matthew 6:20.
I tend to think of the passage as referring to money. But really, our “treasure” is often approval, validation, attention, popularity. Let me go my own way, devoting my energy to the search for beauty, truth, love as I see it.
“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” Matthew 6:3-4.
Here again, I tend to think of “giving alms” in terms of money. But–I don’t know about you–I’ve been noticing how when someone has annoyed or slighted or hurt me, I often start going over and over in my mind their defects, the many ways they are substandard, misguided, WRONG. And I’ve discovered I can kind of nip that in the bud.
The part of my psyche/brain that starts to go to criticism and judgment–say the “right hand”–I can choose not to “know”–to see, to notice. I can kind of refuse to let my “left hand”–the more evolved or loving part of me–see the mischief the right hand is heading toward. There’s absolutely no virtue involved–no credit to me. It’s more a surrender to God, an implicit asking for help, a more or less conscious willing NOT to indulge my lower self (while also knowing that, without supernatural help, I can’t will it).
“Do this in memory of me,” during the consecration at Mass. I’ve always thought of this in terms of an invitation to celebrate the sacrifice as often as possible. Meet me in the Eucharist in memory of me.
Lately though (probably everyone else realized this years ago, but I am always a bit slow on the uptake), I’ve been thinking how it also means, or could mean, Do this–as in the same thing I did, and continue to do for eternity–in memory of me. You, too, are called to lay down your life for your friends, and it’s going to look pretty much the same way it did for me. Some variation thereof.
It’s kind of beautiful that the moveable feast of Corpus Christi falls this year on Father’s Day. The two are so closely connected, speaking of laying down our lives for our friends, sons, and daughters.
I happen to have had the best father in the world, Allen K. King, Sr. who died on June 10, 1999, God rest his soul and we will meet in the sweet bye-and-bye, Daddy.
I hope you had the best father in the world, too.
Either way may all our wounds be healed, and may we all meet, in the Body and Blood of Christ.
For as the glow-worms, know, the light shines in darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.