Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
You know I write this bulletin a week ahead, but I’ve just heard that we open next week. Hope does not disappoint! What a way to celebrate Pentecost.

I’m trying to decide what we may have learned from this remarkable one-time (I hope) event in our lives. I can only speak for me.

I’m still working on it, but one thing I’ve realized is that my relationship with the Lord isn’t what I thought (or hoped) it was. As long as there were a hundred things competing for every one of my minutes, I was very engaged and active. But so much of that faded away in the isolation of shutdown, there was almost a void.

I was celebrating the eucharist each day (for you) and there were very prayerful moments, but sort of floating around it was this sense of space.

I think I expected that God would automatically be there and fill up the spaces. In my head I know he was there, but in my soul, I struggled trying to see his face or hear his voice or feel his hand on my shoulder.

Belief wasn’t my problem. Instead, I’m thinking (present tense because I’m still working on it,) the problem was allowing whatever spiritual routine I had to become a big rut. My rut was so deep that I couldn’t get my head up above the rim of the rut far enough to be surprised by other things God had to offer me for my spiritual knapsack. My path wasn’t mine anymore because I hadn’t noticed how constrained it was becoming as the rut deep-ened.

It’s kind of funny, but I’ve always had a habit of walking with my head down. Sometimes people thought I was piously praying. What the heck... why not let them think that while I’m trying to get my act together? Other times I’d hear, “Watch where you’re going!” But... until this moment I never associated my physical body language with my spiritual practices. SO... maybe I’ve learned something.

I actually came to this Twitch intending to write about something else I’ve been thinking about.

How many of you go to confession and confess being distracted in prayer? And how many of you have heard me say, “Welcome to the club,” or, ”That’s not a sin,” or some other equally glib response? I may have also said something to you about the power of the devil to use the simplest of things to distract you just enough so that you don’t get around to what it was you wanted to do.

Well, I’m glad you didn’t get to see me getting more and more frustrated trying to say the rosary. I say it every day. Bubba and I used to go around the parking lot every night. I prayed, He sniffed.

Now, I’m more likely to sit in the back porch for the rosary. (If anyone mentions the ‘e’ word as being good for you, we’re finished.) For example, ‘The Fifth Glorious Mystery, the Ascension of the Lord – I go to my Father and yours.... “Our Father who art in heaven...” (I wonder how many stories are in that condo,) “hallowed be thy name...” (I’ll have to ask ____________. I think she lives there,) “thy kingdom come...”

The other night, I just started laughing and that helped. I figured God knew what I wanted to do and so I asked him to help me do it, and fill in the blanks when I couldn’t. Maybe he even slapped me on the back.

It reminded me of something I heard years ago as being a very Jesuitical challenge. “Can you drink while you pray?” The question is, “Are you drinking while you’re praying, or are you praying while you’re drinking?” I’ve had a few very prayerful Manhattans.

With prayer and longing for you all,
In Jesus,
sign frjim

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