Another quote from Henri Nouwen that is just too good not to repeat.
The Still, Small Voice of Love
Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, “Prove that you are a good person.” Another voice says, “You’d better be ashamed of yourself.” There also is a voice that says, “Nobody really cares about you,” and one that says, “Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful.” But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, “You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you.” That’s the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen.
That’s what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us “my Beloved.”
Today was just one of those days – nothing special. Just routine.
Get up (slowly) eat, go for groceries. Deliver the coffee cups to the church. Put away groceries at home.
Clean off all the counter tops in the kitchen so I could take pictures at the request of the people who made and installed them. ( looks rather nice in the kitchen with uncluttered counter tops.
Practice. I can now play the Brandenberg Concerto No. 3 page 1 in less than 30 minutes. Gee, I could perform an hour concert with less than three pages of music!
And then reading. I have lots of reading to do for my paper. And it is not always easy to read this stuff without falling asleep. So I did that too for awhile.
Made supper, went up to the hospital to visit a friend.
Didn’t do much else and soon it is time to end the day.
I wish more of my days passed at this pace.
Growing Beyond Self-Rejection
One of the greatest dangers in the spiritual life is self-rejection. When we say, “If people really knew me, they wouldn’t love me,” we choose the road toward darkness. Often we are made to believe that self-deprecation is a virtue, called humility. But humility is in reality the opposite of self-deprecation. It is the grateful recognition that we are precious in God’s eyes and that all we are is pure gift. To grow beyond self-rejection we must have the courage to listen to the voice calling us God’s beloved sons and daughters, and the determination always to live our lives according to this truth.
Today there is a hole
Dark and deep
I look over the edge
And try to see
I am not wise enough
To see the depths.
I feel all lost
As if I am wandering
Perhaps I lost my compass
In that dark hole.
I wonder why I dropped my compass
Just at the moment I tried to see
Maybe one should not try so hard
To see what wisdom hides,
Trusting to be led from day to day
By one whose hand is steady and
Already knows the way.
Tonight the music lessons resumed. We played through one page of the Brandenberg Concerto. Twice.
I’m so good.
Honestly, this is great progress. The crazy thing is that I am still at it. And still am enjoying it.
by the way the stuff I am led to investigate for my papers becomes a useful source of information for the questions people pose in real life.
I am writing – well getting ready to write – an essay on mysticism and ecstatic experiences in Christian spirituality.
Last night our group of women book readers spent a long time talking about this very subject. I’m not even sure what led up to the beginning of the conversation. It was good to share stories. It is good to remember the experiences we have had with God.
Then this morning, a staff member is getting into a book on psychic stuff. That is not where I want to go. I know too much to think that this stuff is harmless. It seems as if people are fascinated by spirituality but stay far away from the real source of spiritual power,God, finding their information in the “wisdom” of another human.
New around our house – Leo is on a low/no carb diet in order to get ready for lap band surgery. He is doing so well that I may try it too. I could stand to lose a few pounds. Leo is following the South Beach diet. The purpose is to shrink his liver so that the surgery will be easier. He also stands to lose about 20 pounds in the process.
Yesterday I traveled to Saskatoon for an appointment with my spiritual direction supervisor. It was a good meeting.
I also used the opportunity to spend time with three of my kids there. Patrick and Amanda and I went to lunch at Moxies. Wow, have they redone their decor since I was there last. Very posh.
Then to a very unposh but utilitarian recording studio to see Christian. He is drumming for Josh Palmer and they are recording a disc. They got a grant or something so they are working with a professional recording person and have been able to upgrade some of their equipment. It was fun to listen in. I was in the sound booth. What an incredible mixer!
Then off to see Rachelle and Ronin. Asen was studying at his place. Took Rachelle out for an early supper. By that time I could feel my cold begining to make my head ache and my eyes water. Went to her place and crashed on her bed for an hour before driving home.
The ride home was god. The roads were pretty clear. The sky was also clear and out there in the middle of nowher, away from the city lights, they sparkled beautifully in the sky. My headlights were so dim though that I had to get out and wash road gunk off them to see my way home.