by Rosemary O’Brien, SSJ
“Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes.
Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way,
Clear in the ancient faith: what we need is here.”
What we need is here. Really?
Our 6-month experience of a tsunami of events has turned our lives upside down and inside out…”what we need is here?” How is it possible to pray and live the words of Psalm 138: “I will give thanks to You, O God, with all my heart.”
How do we live wholeheartedly with a grateful heart and not just survive the “exile” of these long days of COVID-19, political and economic unrest, racial upheaval, and personal and community challenges?
As each person experiences the school of discipline of this time in our history, lessons are being taught, and hopefully learned. Transformation is happening.
“Transformation is a messy matter. The distance between an acorn and an oak. A caterpillar and a butterfly. A rally and a riot. A sinner and a saint.”
Archbishop Helder Camera
This admits of many strange twists and turns. The scenes are not always beautiful. The process is not always painless. In the midst of transformation, we can only be assured of unknowing. The past offers no hope of return. The future suggests no promise of arrival.
Attentiveness to the journey becomes an important activity, but always in reference to the unknown rather than the known. We must, as the Peruvian proverb indicates, ‘create the path by walking.’ (Fr. Jose Kaleekel)
As we walk the path of these days together, socially distant, this daily examen of self-care practices may be helpful:
- What am I GRATEFUL for today?
- Who am I CHECKING IN ON or CONNECTING WITH today?
- What expectations of ‘normal’ am I LETTING GO OF today?
- How am I GETTING OUTSIDE today?
- How am I MOVING MY BODY today?
- What BEAUTY am I either creating, cultivating or inviting in today?
- How am I being ATTENTIVE to “FINDING GOD IN ALL THINGS”?
WHO we need is near and has promised: “I am with you always.”