- Sunday, July 12: Keeping Vigil
[excerpt from the email]: ” … To keep vigil then, is above all, to stay awake; to keep watch with Christ in the Gethsemane of history …. The temptation to seek distraction in blame and argument, anger and judgment, mundane diversion or avoidance is the temptation to fall asleep. … Solidarity with those who suffer is impossible without the deeply personal act of vigil-keeping whereby we consciously remain present to the experience of another. … And with relentless compassion, it is you who must hold this contemplative gaze with weeping and tears and dread. And as you do, reveal to all whom you encounter that the world is beautiful still, because you make it so – because your love makes it so.”
Examen: How are you being called to keep vigil? How are you revealing to all whom you encounter that the world is beautiful still?
To stay positive – I imagine that is hard when dealing with serious health issues. You will be in my prayers, Alita.
A friend of mine recently had a doctor visit. A nurse asked her a battery of questions at the beginning of the exam -one of which was, “Have you felt down recently?” My friend said she responded a bit incredulously, ‘Yes, haven’t you?” This time of covid has shaken up my life – and sometimes i have felt sadness, a sense of grief. Yet it has also proven a time to keep vigil – to realize this is a day that the Lord has made; to watch and to listen with a new level of awareness. I have had to deal with the temptation to indulging in “mundane diversions” that numb my sensibilities. I hope that, by virtue of Centering Prayer and lectio divina, i am remaining open enough to receive Love and manifest that Love to those I encounter, mostly via zoom these days.
I’m keeping vigil by dismantling White Supremacy. I incorrectly concluded I was one of the good ones because I’m married to a Black man, even to the point of defending myself. I’m watering my mind with prayer and practices so I may live with an undefended ❤️ and be a beautiful presence to his pain…and my own for this long standing disconnect. Amen.
I heard that it is I who is to consciously remain present to the experience of another; I must be the one to hold this contemplative gaze though sometimes with weeping and tears; and it is I who am called to reveal to all whom I encounter that the world is beautiful still — because of my love, the love of the one before me. May it be so. And may God’s mercy be with you, Alita.
The world IS beautiful, because God the Creator made it so. In order to communicate this goodness with others, I must first spend time quietly, silently with Him. I try to do this at least twice a day by practicing Centering Prayer, being present to Him/gazing upon His eternal beauty so that I can be present and compassionate to others/ so that I can be His presence in this world. There is an old hymn, a stanza of which reads: “I am but a stranger here, Heaven is my home.” As St. Benedict said, we must keep eternity always before my eyes….If and when we have this eternal vision, we find purpose and in our existence here on earth and can stay centered/undisturbed/still in the midst of chaos. We are here to further His kingdom here on earth- to “know, love and serve Him” and it is a joy to bring His love and compassion to those in need.
Keeping vigil since Sunday – consenting to be in that place where I do not want to go reluctant to celebrate the virtual Eucharist today – where revealed to me during the homily:to bring my painful empty-ness (through the Welcome Prayer) into the Lord’s hands and hear “show them my love”. Yes, covid 19 finds me on the periphery; actually a place familiar to me. What I am letting go of is “I’ll figure it out”, just trust the leading of the Lord. Little by little the depth of my arrogance is being emptied. The communion antiphon: Your did not choose me. It is I who have chosen you……….
All week i have been pondering this topic. it occupied a few pages of my journal. what i have dicovered is that i can choose to be present to another person, accompanying them, if you will, without seeking connection. it isn’t in any way treating the other as an object of sympathy, but just being open to what they want to express and to what gifts i may find there. basically, it is choosing to take myself out of the equation.
it is for me, like beginning my life all over again. kathy
Sunday, July 12: Keeping Vigil
I am being called to keep vigil by posting to these weekly meditations what God is doing in my life. I need “to hold a tenacious refusal to medicate, distract or isolate” myself from the world’s suffering as well as my own. I know these paths well from my past: to medicate and numb my fears, distract myself that nothing is wrong, withdraw and ignore.
And it is also through these reflections I can encounter other travelers and reveal the world is still beautiful. I stepped out onto my back porch this afternoon to watch an approaching thunderstorm roll in. I thanked God for the gloriously cooler breeze, for the sorely needed water, for the beauty of the storm and of its passing. Uphold each other in love – “because your love makes it so.”
Alita – surrounding you in prayer. linda<3
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