Garden Moments – The Arlington Catholic Herald
It was one hell of a fall: a wrecked car, a flooded house, a serious infection, the death of my father, an eye injury that resulted in emergency surgery, and some things I always keep close by. me and private. A hell of a fall. On the second Sunday of Advent we will return from my father’s funeral. I’m still not sure I understand the delay, but it has been delayed, and so we will be living in a strange spiritual and temporal suspension until we get home.
And then, Advent will be synonymous with calm and rest. It will be about really taking care of me.
This Advent, shut up. Count with your heart. Walk the holy way. May Jesus be your companion when you sit in your house, and when you walk the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deut. 6: 7).
So often when we hear the word “personal care” we think of days at the spa or massages or time away from real life. It has become more and more clear to me that taking care of yourself is actually doing the things necessary to support and maintain the real life I want to have. I want to live a life of quiet rest. Here, at the start of the liturgical year, is a perfect place to engage in the habits that will create and nourish the life I hope to live.
The most authentic Christian life begins from a place of rest in God. It starts with surrender rather than effort. He moves peacefully around the world as a living testimony to the phrase “God has this”. And “this” is everything. He has got everything. To genuinely believe this, I know I have to remember it frequently. And I must notice all the times he has been faithful and thank them warmly with sincere gratitude.
Calm is therefore a necessity. Love itself calls us into existence, and it wants us to always incline our ears to its voice. He wants to accompany us every moment of our day; we were created to hear it deep within ourselves. For our part, we have to calm down the rush and worry and restlessness and the long list of “needs” in order to hear the only thing that is needed: the voice of the Lord telling us to be still and to know him. . This Advent, shut up. Count with your heart. Walk the holy way. May Jesus be your companion when you sit in your house, and when you walk the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deut. 6: 7).
Let the rhythm of prayer punctuate your daily life. Rhythms and habits determine how we spend the minutes of our days. And the way we spend our minutes is the way we spend our life. Use the smaller clues to help you pray. Every time you touch a switch, ask to see what you’re truly grateful for and articulate this prayer of thanks. Each time you fill a glass with water, drink deeply the knowledge that you are infinitely loved and speak to the heart of Jesus who loves you. Wear a rosary bracelet around your wrist and offer a few prayers at a time, enveloping yourself in the loving care of your mother. Make the sign of the cross at the beginning of any task, offering it to the provision and protection of Our Lord.
Savor the silence. Take plenty of time to sit down and be still, plenty of time to walk in the cold, crisp air in silence that welcomes the words of God. Every moment doesn’t have to be filled with conversation, technology and task-oriented productivity. God begs us to be quiet and to know. It is peace of mind that he seeks. We were not created to relentlessly push back the demands of this world. We were created to walk with him in the garden. Look for garden moments in your day. Stay with him there.
Foss, whose website is takeupandread.org, writes from Connecticut.