Blogging about life at a Benedictine monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Gospel of Thomas gives good advice: “Recognize what is before your eyes, and what is hidden will be revealed to you.” There is not much that I can do about the revelation; that always proffers the unexpected; but what I can do is recognize what is before my eyes.
I want to say something about a kind of daily liturgy that feeds the soul, viz., the amenities of a loving interchange! Frankly, I miss some of the amenities of a more loving and expressive way of being with one another! I will mention only three: a gracious greeting which includes being called by my name; holding the door for another-- whether carrying a package or not; and including another simply through eye contact. I am often reminded of the 13 year old Emily from Thornton Wilder’s classic piece, OUR TOWN, who although she had died was given her wish to re-live a birthday! You may remember that she descends the staircase, watches her mother make breakfast and then receives from her mother a much too perfunctory “Happy Birthday” greeting. Emily cannot bear the inadequacy of that tiny meeting and greeting! She so poignantly says to her mother: “Mama, please look at me as if you really saw me!”
Emily wants to be recognized; after all, it is her birthday! A loving embrace, greeting, fondness would have been the liturgy that could have fed her soul!
And we? Might we start a little revolution and make an effort to call one another by name, hold a door for another, or grant one another eye contact? Is it only the “child within” that longs for safety in the hands of an adult? Or is it the craving of the adult heart for little moments of communion?
Again, in the words of the Gospel of Thomas: “Recognize what is before your eyes, and what is hidden will be revealed to you.” If we let the quality of our lives together fade in the name of speed and/or efficiency, do we not run the risk of harming one another ... and ourselves?
This blog is maintained by a group of Sisters at Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. We try to post weekly and often succeed at that.
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