February 2017


How surely gravity's law,
strong as an ocean's current,
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it towards the heart of the world.

Each thing -
each stone, blossom, child -
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we each belong to
for some empty freedom.

If we surrendered 
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.
So like children, we begin again
to learn from things,
because they are in God's heart;
they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke
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What makes the spiritual life different from any other life? What are we doing that is so different from what everybody else is doing? The answer is it not what we are doing at all that makes the spiritual life different from the life lived without consciousness. The answer is it is what we are and how we do what we do that is the mark of the spiritual life. It is what we are while we are doing whatever it is we do that makes Benedictine spirituality a gift for all ages.

Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, p164