Wednesday, October 5, 2016
I got dressed myself...
Not knowing about this little 7 year old girl would be a great gift.As she got on the school bus yesterday in Pennsylvania, she told the driver that she had dressed herself and couldn't wake her parents.Police found three other children in the home under the age of 5 and two dead adults.They had overdosed 24 hours before.I try to imagine that little girl who probably fed her siblings, took care of them and still managed to get to the bus on time.God help us.
Their addiction wasn't just to drugs but to more.This world isn't enough, I want more.More good feelings.The jails in this country are full of people who wanted more and did whatever it took to get it.
When was the last time you heard anyone extol the virtue of asceticism ?Or the idea of sacrifice? Prayer is O.K. but fasting and sacrifice?Ewww!!!!
Skellig Michael is an island of rock off the Irish coast. Skellig means steep rock and it was here in the 6th century that a group of monks took themselves to focus entirely on God.They lived on this windblown, desolate rock and had no contact with the outside world.They weren't on retreat, they lived there and never left. Their names are unknown to us.They started a rock side monastery of a few men, slept in stone beehives, ate fish, birds eggs and any small vegetables they could grow and prayed.How hard, no pun intended.They stayed there until the 13th century and what their prayers wrought, we have no way of knowing.
I have been aware of these recluses for a long time but I never pondered what their voluntary deprivation may have brought them.From a book I am reading: "the rough life had its compensations.Asceticism gave an intensified response to the smell of flowers, the texture of stone, the feel of rain, or sun or wind or flight of birds.When they came out of their dark cells their spirits must have lifted to heights rarefied beyond our experience.""The Flowering of Ireland".by Katharine Scherman
This sounds right to me.
A small example comes to mind.I have been reading about the messages given by Mary to the visionaries in Medjugorje, Bosnia, and a theme reveals itself ; prayer and fasting, prayer and love.It seemed to me that perhaps I could answer this call in a small way.Prayer is part of my day but I decided also to forswear coffee every other day.It's not the coffee but the Carmel Macchiato Coffeemate that starts my day.Ah, the pleasure of this drink going over my tongue and down my throat with warmth and sweetness.Small thing , I know, but let me tell you something surprising; on coffee day I am excited and energized just thinking about my morning drink in a way that I wouldn't if I had it every day.
Is it possible that by choosing less we will find the More that we long for ?