Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Contemplative Nuns

Ordinary Time
Arrives at the

The creche has been packed away under the basement stairs for another year. Decorations slowly disappear from window sills and stair railings. But carefully tended (don't water too much) poinsettias still brighten our chapel with luscious red and pinkish white blossoms.

Winter seems also to have finally arrived although a weaker version then we remember from the past. In the lower Hudson Valley we have been spared the ice storms plaguing the north country gateway to the Adirondacks and southern states.

Today I was the morning presenter for a "Day of Prayer", a monthly activity offered by the retreat center which shares the grounds with us. The topic was contemplative prayer and the audience was eager, enthusiastic, and clearly committed to the spiritual path. Told them that to speak of contemplative prayer as a method to be learned is a misnomer, a bit of false advertising. Contemplative prayer is that infused grace that comes only through God's initiative. We can only really talk about how one can be disposed to contemplation, how one can open up, shed the preoccupations of normal ordinary life and become available to the work of God. It is a challenge to us all. Even to those living in monasteries. To that I can personally attest.


Was given the gift of time last week - two days with my grandchildren - two days to cook and stock the freezer to help my daughter-in-law - two days to read to big brother Nicholas (almost three), bake sugar cookies with him and teach him to sing "This Old Man". And two days to hold, rock, cuddle and smell newborn Benjamin. May God be praised!

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