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 ?


Missy said...

True to your point, doing without certainly does make us appreciate things. Going camping for a weekend certainly makes me appreciate my warm bed and bathroom. I wonder though at the monk's life of seclusion. How does that help those in this world to lock themselves away in seclusion? I've never understood that.

Sharon Graham said...

Good question.If n inspiring book came out of all that seclusion we can see the value.Perhaps just praying ,interceding for others and the world in prayer, has a unique value that isn't apparent to us.One day maybe we'll know.Thanks for commenting,dear Messy!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Missy, too. If they never walked among the world, never heard the cries of the sick, poor, hungry, etc., for whom did they pray? to whom did they minister as a good Samaritan? whose wounds did they bind up? or with whom did they share the Gospel of Jesus love for us?
Jesus told us to 'fast and pray'. These are both very important ways to sharpen our communication with God. Prayer is powerful; fasting adds that acuteness to all that God has blessed us with. Our pastor has us doing a 40 days of prayer and fasting for our nation during this election. Amazing how it has sharpened my closeness and sense of what God wants me to do.

Sharon Graham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon Graham said...

I cannot presume to know what God has in mind for each person.What call is offered.The desert fathers and mothers felt called to leave the cities and go to the desert to pray unceasingly.They were a sign. This is what these monks did and still do today.They are a sign that God is All.And for sure,they walked among the suffering before leaving and had much to pray about.
Unless we think that prayer has no value, we will never know the good these men did in their deprivation until we are on the other side.I do not judge their lives, I can only admire their commitment and love of God and be inspired by them.

Connie said...

you needn't worry if your words are read, they land quite firmly. thanks