I am terribly fascinated by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In fact, I'm going to start studying them with my priest (thank you Father). And, now that this has caught my attention, I see bits and pieces of it everywhere. It's a little like when you are pregnant and suddenly you see all things baby that never caught your attention before.
The twelve step program teaches that you accept that you aren't in control and you rightfully turn that over to God. The steps teach you to take care of yourself and to start discovering who YOU are....not whose spouse or child you are, not whose mother you are, but who you are once you DETACH from all other things. It also teaches us to take inventory of our wrongs and to try, when possible, to rectify them. Finally, that instruct you to find a way to serve others.
The spiritual exercises teach us to do many of those same things, but in a creative, contemplative way. So, I've started my own new inventory control plan. In addition to reviewing the day from the perspective of how well I followed the ten commandments, now I go through the senses. What did I see today that was beautiful? What smelled so wonderful or delicious? What made me feel really good or excited...either physically or emotionally or mentally? What sounds made my heart sing? What tasted so fresh or restorative? What curiosities am I dying to experience?
I often ask my married girlfriends, What would (first name, maiden name) like/ do. And, most of them respond in the same fashion....I don't even remember her....That is so sad. When I say detach from other things, I don't mean the family...I mean detaching from finding joy, happiness and security FROM our families. We should still find those things from within. When we do this, we model for our family, the fact that we are trying to use our gifts. We are modeling an appreciation not only for the gifts from God, but we reinforce the fact that we continue seeking them. And, in the process, guess who/what we find?
I love the dulled light we see through sheets of rain on the springtime verdant pastures. I love using almost swear words to make a point....Dhat blasted.... Yesterday, I made homemade chicken soup for my sick kids and when I walked back in the house, that smell made it smell like a home. I love going to mass when it's a school mass, hearing mostly children's voices singing with all of those imperfections ringing out loud and clear....now, that's perfection!
I am almost 47 years old and sadly, I am just learning to smell the roses. Figure out what brings you joy; it will lead you to your passion. It will introduce you to God's creation.
In the movie "Runaway Bride", Julia Roberts thought that she liked whatever type of eggs that her current fiance liked. It was Richard Gere who pointed out that she liked what she thought others would want her to like. He told her to call him when she figured out which type of eggs SHE liked. In the movie, this seemed blatantly obvious to the viewer but, I don't think it's all that unusual. We are constantly filtering and editing.....maybe it's time to start tasting eggs....
Today, I pray for my son and his addiction. I pray for him to find who God created him to be. I pray for him to find the all time high of learning his passion. I pray for you and me to do the same. And, as always a prayer for Henry.