Monday, July 22, 2013

The Life of the Party

With this post, I'm taking on a one week blogging challenge.  The goal?  To post something here every day... for seven days straight.  But will there be anything to say, every day, for one full week?  

The answer has suddenly come (surprising me as I write this) in the form of a question:

Is there something 'new' in my 'cloister' every day?  Or is the cloistered heart a static idea, set down in stone and unmovable, never changing and thus not affecting my real, nitty-gritty, day-to-day life?

If it is static and unchanging, then I might as well close up shop here, stop blogging, stop all my 'cloistered heart' yammering, and just get on with other things. 

However, if the Cloistered Heart is a vital part OF my life, then my heart monastery is a daily place of residence.  A place of ongoing prayer and responses that change as situations shift around me. It's not just something I write about.  It isn't a spot I retreat to once in awhile so I can feel cozy and prayerful, and then shed like a cocoon so I can go out partying.  

If I am living in a genuine heart-cloister, I do not leave it.  It goes with me TO the party.  The grillwork is between me and every person, every situation, I encounter.  Oh, I will look the same to everyone around me, and I don't have to poke my nose up in the air and announce that Aunt Millie's gossip is offensive.  If I'm living in the cloister, however, I won't add my own juicy tidbits.  I can genuinely enjoy the company of others, and I will do so 'through the grille.'  

As we know, our grille is made of Scripture and the teachings of the Church.  If I am relating to those around me 'through the grille,' I will be joyful (James 1:2), unafraid (Isaiah 43:1-3), thankful
(Ephesians 5:20), not gossipy (James 4:11), charitable (Matthew 25:35), and genuinely loving.  

"Love is patient, love is kind.  Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish.  Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries.  Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth."  (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)

Imagine what our gatherings could be if we related to each other 'through the grille!'

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," said Jesus (John 14:4). 

In the world around me, things shift from day to day.  There are happy times and crises, celebrations  and traumas.  There are even parties.  

Into every bit of it, I am called to carry the One Who is Life.

Schikaneder painting
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