Saturday, July 20, 2013

From the Parlor

I hope the most recent Parlor commenters won't mind that I've brought a few of their remarks to this space today (you can see the originals, plus who wrote these, at The Parlor).  After all:  just look at what we've been missing...

"I can so relate to your Back to Basics post. My own grille gets lost in the pile of distractions, especially the ones that come from fatigue. My grille seems to not so much come apart, but gets covered up by those distractions. My worst is TV. I need to go back to my Lenten practice of fasting from it!  As for beating myself up, I have done my share as well. While I certainly can pray more often, harder and better, the devil is the one who likes us to beat ourselves up over our weaknesses. He too is a distraction of sorts. I think too there is the danger of feeling like we are each alone in this battle of distractions. We forget that all of us, even the saints when they walked this earth, battled them. So thank you for this post that reminds us that we all share in this and that if we strive to do our best it is enough. And when we fall short of our best, we can always begin again. The grille is always able to be cleaned up and repaired if need be."

"I can't tell you how I much I struggle with every single thing you said in Back to Basics. Oh, how it helps to know I'm not alone in this battle of distractions ...Over and over I thank St Benedict who teaches we're always beginners. It's me that's not OK with it all when the balance comes undone. I so badly just want to stay focused. Is this where we embrace our humanity and offer our failings to the Lord ?"

"I'm struggling too. I have several apps on my iPad -- Rosary, Divine Office, Magnificat but I can never get around to using them. I don't know why. I have a Rosary CD in the car to listen to on the way to work, I start out good then I get distracted and never turn it back on. I can't seem to find and sustain a daily prayer routine. I'm so glad I'm not the only one."

"God has given us a gift in one another, I'm convinced. I will be praying for everyone here as I go now into the evening.  I, too, have so many things that I don't get around to using.  It seems that a key word with every one of us is distraction, distraction, distraction!!  Thanks be to God that we all know we're not alone. May He polish up our grilles."

"We all can wrap our hands around each and every word you have written, I think. Or maybe I should just speak for my self.  Day to day life is challenging, isn't it? And then add in the host of un-expecteds that come barreling at us (this is real life, right?!) and POOF! Before you know it carefully planned and scheduled prayer and devotion times are up in smoke. For they can be among the first to go, right? Again, speaking for myself."

"Very, very familiar.  But let me share what I have learned. By laying the foundation of strong prayer and devotion in the quieter times, I've been able to better handle the demands of the busier times, when even the best laid plans seem to fall to pieces! I'm able to slip behind that grille a little more easily, in the car, in the company of many, in line at the store, as demands of home and life collide, when I need to most."

"This morning was the first time in weeks that I was able to sit quietly for morning devotions. With no one on my lap. Without nagging thoughts of that neglected blog, or the piles of unfinished projects. A shop needing to be restocked. Concerns about grands, an ailing spouse. Dishes needing to be done, laundry folded. Blogs unread. Even the pups slept in, granting me a bit of reprieve from their immediate needs. It wasn't the morning devotion I had thought it would be, burrowed in Scripture (which I love) but rather a quiet time of meditation and reflection. Right where I needed to be. Right where I believe He needed me to be. And in my heart, I know that sometimes 'the best I can do' is okay, too. The mental prayer throughout the day, the quick ducks behind the grille, regrouping, a chance to focus on God's will for me. At that moment. "

"I gather strength knowing others have the same struggles and that we are able to encourage each other on. Such strength in numbers and the power of prayer. Wishing each of you a grace-filled weekend and peace in your hearts."

Painting:  William Adolphe Bouguereau, The Nut Gatherers (1882)