watch these hamsters to get a sense of what it's been like!), the result of a calendar clogged with evening and weekend meetings. I went from class to office hours to class to a faculty meeting to....giving a reflection on the extravagance of being "unbusy" at a local retreat house. Yes, I get the irony there.
One of my Jesuit friends says, "first we preach to ourselves" and as I wrote it, I heard in Martha's encounter with Jesus in Luke's gospel, not her whining, or Jesus' remonstrance, but her bone-deep longing for time with God, her almost overwhelming desire to be able to let go her grasp on all the stuff that bustles bossily through our days. So I tried to preach to myself, and let God take care of the rest.
I felt as if I let go my grasp as I walked through door, from the brisk night air into the warmth and gentle light of the retreat house. The sisters were warmly welcoming (tea!). There was no bustling about, just enough direction to get us gathered and centering.
When I laid my notes atop the Gospel and spoke, I was suddenly and deeply aware of God undergirding my work. God behind me, God before me, God underneath me. The stillness in the chapel was incredible, we sat there, women young and old, and listened to God, enfolded in the warmth and the light and the Word. The service was short, less than an hour from start to finish, but just right for a midweek night.
I'm talking again on December 12th, but am looking forward to going to the one the week before where I'm not talking, but can just listen.
Upcoming programs at the IHM Conference Center are listed here. Recording of my talk, coming soon! If you are in the area, stop in, it's an oasis of stillness on the Main Line...
Photo is of my back step, a place of prayer, set with a cup of tea and my breviary.