“Ora et labora,” as the monks say: prayer and work. Thus, I do my own housework, happily (not that I’m great at it). I shouldn’t own more stuff or inhabit more space than I can comfortably keep clean and cared for. And for me, the filling of the birdfeeders, the replacing of the batteries in the string lights, the polishing, scrubbing, wiping down, re-arranging, neatening, are all part of some larger, beautiful purpose, of a gift that’s been given to me.
Anyway, then Jesus sees the disciples out on the sea toiling and without further ado, and no indication of how he got down from the mountain, “cometh unto them,” walking upon the sea. That’s weird enough, but what’s really weird is that “he would have passed by them.” WHY?
The whole of the Advent and Christmas season is for me liminal time. The Divine Office, with Morning, Evening and sometimes Daytime Prayer; emerging from daily vigil Mass in the dark and walking home down the light-festooned streets…
I think many stop short at the brokenness, fallenness and failure of the Church (and how could it be otherwise, as the Church is comprised of us?) to live out the Gospel message. But I don’t see how anyone could go to Christ–to his heart, his life, teachings, death; the parables with their inexhaustible levels of meaning, and fail to be electrified.
Sick members of the community are nursed and nourished; it’s as if trees, too, exist as part of a Mystical Body. So strong is the instinct toward collective health that a kind of equalizing principle is at work, whereby more robust trees work to strengthen the weak.
It’s as if the secular culture, with neither God nor theology, has come up on its own with a twisted notion of the Fall whereby half of humanity is by its nature violent, greedy, hateful and irredeemable; and the other half is by its nature sinless, pure, gentle and blameless, and therefore needs no redeeming.
Well that’s good news, because left to my own devices, I can work up zero love for the vast number of people who annoy, frighten or perplex me. But we have to bring our body, one way or another, to this supernatural kind of love.
I doubled over laughing at this, my favorite passage. Because at the end of the day, this is kind of how it goes. We never know whether we’re “progressing” or whether we’ve been treading water for decades. Lately, I find I don’t much care. Whatever is happening, I’m alive, observant, and grateful.
Jubilant, earthy, celebratory, mischievous, she invites us to see the dance “inside” our most homely tasks, chores, and daily activities. Layered through her soundtracks are oral histories; whispered, overheard and remembered conversations through open windows or over the kitchen table. Throughout her careers, she collaborated with avant-garde musicians and writers.