Thursday, November 7, 2013

Opportunity Rings

"As I begin various activities, I can enter the choir stall by offering my actions to God and imploring His aid.  'O you who fear the Lord, praise Him in the places where you are now.  Change of place does not affect any drawing nearer to God, but wherever you may be, God will come to you.' (Gregory of Nyssa)."

Reading the above quote, I ask myself:  "where can God come to me?"

The answer:  wherever I may be.

If I praise Him in the place where I am now, says St. Gregory, God WILL come to me.  I can draw nearer to Him.  Which means that right here, as I sit plunking away at a keyboard, I can draw near to God.  Looking out my window onto a golden autumn day, watching fallen leaves blow across the grass, gazing at a sky of purest blue, I can offer prayer.  I can praise God as much and as "thoroughly" as if I were sitting in a choir stall.  

And when I get up from my chair, I can continue offering my actions and my prayer.  Mine is a "choir stall" that can go with me to kitchen, car, dentist's office, mall. 

"Opportunities are offered hourly for us to perform with great love seemingly unimportant works.  Gentleness and patience toward others, overcoming our own moods and inclinations, acknowledging within ourselves our own imperfections, and persevering effort to keep ourselves tranquil and at peace:  this faithfulness is greater than we can imagine." (from In the Midst of the World by Sister Joanne Marie Wenzel VHM, Brooklyn Visitation Monastery, 1985, p. 9)

I think I hear, from another part of my house, opportunity knocking.  Like a monastery bell, it calls out to me.  There are desks to be straightened, letters to sort, there's a kitchen in need of help.  Change of place does not affect my drawing nearer to God.

So I shall pick up my choir stall and go scrub a sink.  

Painting: Girl Sweeping, William McGregor Paxton,1912