Although this summer has been very busy in some ways, I still manage to read a lot (due to an even busier husband), especially aware that life will change soon.
The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and “Women’s
Work” by Kathleen Norris.
I was immediately drawn to the title of this book but beyond that, the idea
of performing everyday tasks with an attitude of prayer and thanksgiving
resonates. So much of life is in the little moments.
Things are truly our baggage, our impedimenta, which must be
maintained with work that is menial, steady and recurring. But like liturgy,
the work of cleaning draws much of its meaning and value from repetition, from
the fact that it is never completed, but only set aside until the next day.
Both liturgy and what is euphemistically termed ‘domestic’ work also have an
intense relation with the present moment, a kind of faith in the present that
fosters hope and makes life seem possible in the day-to-day.
I have come to believe that the true mystics of the quotidian are not
those who contemplate holiness in isolation, reaching godlike illumination in
serene silence, but those who manage to find God in a life filled with noise,
the demands of other people and relentless daily duties that can consume the
self. They may be young parents juggling child-rearing and making a living;
they may be monks or nuns in a small community…If they are wise, they
treasure the rare moments of solitude and silence that come their way, and use
them not to escape, to distract themselves with television and the like.
Instead, they listen for sign of God’s presence and they open their hearts
Walking a Literary Labyrinth: A Spirituality of Reading by Nancy M. Malone
The second book I finished on our Cancun vacation,
Walking a Literary Labyrinth, is written by an Ursuline nun and
explores the spiritual aspects of reading.
In such a culture, the stillness, silence, solitude, and focused
attention that reading offers is to be prized; it may be the closest some of us
get to a spirit of contemplation in the hurried, noisy, scatter lives that we
lead. A good book can create a little hermitage for some people anywhere.
Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
Belong to Me is just pure
joy to read (as Alyssa, Missy and my mom will attest).
Cornelia, one of the main characters, becomes pregnant and I love her description
of pregnancy: It doesn’t happen often, at least not to ordinary people
like I am, the awareness of a miracle glowing just under the skin of the
commonplace, and when it happens, you want to pay attention.
Also: But I’ve found that if you insist on goodwill, if everyone
insists on it together, goodwill comes. I’ve found that love can be a decision.