Friday, September 13, 2013

Hope for the Habit

Today the habit of a cloistered heart seems right in front of me, within my grasp, as if invitingly placed on a hanger.  Like in those wedding photos that show THE dress hanging on a door just before the bride dons it. 

The habit of a cloistered heart, as we've said, is a habit of seeking God's will.  It is a habit of prayer, of virtue, of choosing Our Lord above all.  It is a habit of holy actions acquired over time, through repetition.

I've gotten awfully comfortable with not-so-holy habits acquired over time.  Not remembering to pray, complaining when something aggravates me, fretting and worrying and stressing out (big time).  Exchanging these for the habits of a disciplined, serene, ordered life is a lofty dream indeed, for the likes of me.

Yet today I realized something.  Over the last two years, I have acquired habits totally foreign to me before 2011.  Almost exactly two years ago (one week from today will mark my second blogiversary), I wrote my first blog post.

Before that time, I didn't even do e-mail - not on a regular basis.  I'd never seen a blog.  I had no acquaintance with the Internet.  Didn't have a clue how to Google.  Having decided that I was mechanically inept and computer challenged, I wanted nothing at all to do with any of "that." 

And now?  Going online has become a habit.  I'm as comfortable sitting here "in a blog post" as I am wearing comfy, familiar, stretched out shoes.  I can more easily change template colors than straighten a cabinet (and yes, that's the literal truth). 

The point of this?  Today, with this sudden realization, I am acutely aware of the fact that habits can change.  I am now in the habit of doing things I once considered myself unable to manage or understand.  Write a blog post and edit it and put in pictures and videos (that I'd know how to find) and set up templates and pop in links and do all that "technical" jazz?  NOT POSSIBLE.  Yet it has all happened; new habits have been formed, until they've actually become old ones.  It has to be God. 

Have a disciplined prayer life and be holy in the face of adversity and respond to evil with good?  NOT POSSIBLE.  Yet it is starting to happen.  New habits are forming, old ones are being outgrown.  Habits can change. 

Today I have hope.  I have hope for the habit.  It has to be God.

“Clothe me, O eternal Truth, clothe me with yourself, that I may run my mortal course with true obedience and the light of holy faith…” (St. Catherine of Siena)

 Painting:  Nuns choir by Ramon Casas, Cercle del Liceu, Barcelona, 1901-1902