- Posted by Lin Wilder
- On January 23, 2014
- 0 Comments
Last Saturday, I attended a day long retreat with about 25 others-it was our annual Benedictine day for reflection but the usual group leaders were unavailable. The priest who organized the day did so from the perspective of a parish priest-not a Benedictine monk or contemplative but one with bills to pay and meals to prepare.
Several days later, I find myself returning to the talks Fr. Nathan gave along with some pithy and practical information he provided.
Sanctify the mess!
His point was this: Since we have not chosen the life of a contemplative but the one of living in the world, sometimes all we can do is work at sanctifying the mess we are currently in.
I thought about this a great deal today- a day when very little was going the way I would like-when none of my plans for my day came to fruition and one where I had little energy, not even enough to go work out.
The reasons for my lousy day, now viewed in the telescope of the end of it, seem trivial and I feel a bit silly thinking much less writing about it. But I do so because I know that we are all occasional or frequent victims to emotions which feel as if they will never get off our chest…never permit a deep breath and certainly not a smile when they climb inside our gut and psyche and vacuum away every shred of energy.
It feels as if we will feel this terrible forever.
This morning was different. I remembered Fr Nathan’s words: sanctify the mess.
And had a lengthy conversation with myself and with God, taking the time to analyze exactly why I felt this way and what I could do about it; what I could change and what I could not; and to carefully examine each one of my options…weighing what the results would be for each one.
I think that is what he meant by sanctifying the mess.
One of the priest’s last comments was about gratitude- the antidote to depression…sanctification of our messes is impossible without gratitude. Always, we can find something to be thankful for…some days, it simply takes more effort.