Monday, March 10, 2014

the view from the Lenten path.........

photo by Kris

Today was the first Sunday of Lent and we pilgrims have a long way to go.The ashes have been cleaned off but the penance remains.I have been surprised at how easy it has been to give up my "reason to get out of bed" sweetened coffee.And so far, I have adjusted to waiting to drop into Facebook and see what's up until after noon.I was meant to do this because I seem to have more time to meet and greet my lenten companions:Caryll Houselander and Ann Kiemel, she who died unexpectedly on March 1, a few days ago.Thanks to my third addiction,Amazon,which I know my husband wishes I had given up,I have two of their books in hand.

I hold Caryll's autobiography in my lap as we have tea together at a white wrought iron table and similiar chairs with soft pink cushions.The shaded English garden is lush and delightful,a perfect setting for our meeting.I tell her how touched I am by her humility in describing the pain of her life and her contribution to it.She smiles and gazes down,unable to handle praise.I think how composed she seems ,how thoughtful as she forms words.Her journey to the church was strange,and circuitous .Her mystical experiences were never far from her thoughts-they formed her.I know about her 'strangeness" but don't see it,just an inner peace.

Ms. Houselander never asked for visions but I am sure that her relentless search for God got the notice of the powers that be.And these visions of who Christ really is colored her whole life.She left them with us to ponder.Simple, they are not.Otherworldly,yes.I would not do justice to them with my words .I just have her little book "A Rocking Horse Catholic" and the rest of my life to ponder their meaning.But there remains this:Christing the world.

What would that look like?It would have this in it:my husband holding the arm of a new friend, a priest who is severely limited ,as they go up to receive communion.It would have a deacon with love in his eyes moving closer to help the movement.There would be peace after the reception and laughter on the way home.Unlikely friends in a Christed world.

Something would happen that I will never forget.A young friend and her husband ,who live in Montana ,holding my son in prayer as he made his way to rescue a trapped Atlanta woman in the snowstorm.A vigil that only ended when she knew all was well, late in the night.

And it would have Caryll Houselander ,dancing to a different tune and unafraid to share her visions with others no matter the cost.I intend to ask for her help in understanding what she saw.

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