Wednesday, January 25, 2012

in the library

While reflecting on the "library" of a cloistered heart, I came across something from an unexpected source.  I normally quote saints as we explore the inner cloister, but the following words from Anne Morrow Lindbergh are so perfect that I cannot pass them up.  When speaking of an absorbing book, Mrs. Lindbergh wrote: "You merged into it, so that when you walk out of it you still have bits of it sticking to you. You live through a thin veil of it for awhile - the way, sometimes, you live half a morning through the veil of last night's dream."  (from Bring Me a Unicorn, 1972, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, NY, p. 225)

I find these words poignant and descriptive.  And I wonder:  what books would I like to merge into?  What writings and teachings do I want to carry with me, allowing bits of them to stick to me as I go through my day?  What examples and thoughts and ideas would I choose to "live through"... wearing them like a veil through which I meet with life?

As a cloistered heart, I desire to see and respond to every circumstance through Scripture and Church teaching.  Thankfully, there are books for this.  I have the Holy Bible to "merge into," and I do not have to do this merging on my own.  It is the Holy Spirit Who helps Scripture take root in my heart.  

I also appreciate (need! crave!) examples.  Stories in which I become absorbed.  Lives of people whose heroism, courage, and virtue slide over me like a veil.  In the next few days, I hope to visit some of these volumes, sharing ways in which they've left bits of zeal stuck to my will.  

I know each of us has stories we treasure, saints who have inspired us, people who have lit fires in our hearts.  As I share just a bit of my library with you over the next little span of time, I trust you will be thinking about what examples (not limited to books) have left bits of ______, _____ and ____  stuck to your life....

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