I occasionally put two pictures on a post. One may be of a church or monastery, the other might have a scene of life 'out in the world.'
Between these pictures of church and world is usually a quote, something making the point that we can adore Our Lord where we are: in rush hour traffic, in a busy office, or while wiping a table as we bounce Baby on our hip. We are not meant to disconnect from God while we're going about our daily round of duties. We're meant to connect with God through focused prayer as much as we can, and to maintain that connection IN our daily round of duties.
An illustration of this was shared with me some years ago, by a Sister who had read my first magazine article on The Cloistered Heart. In a letter, Sister wrote:
'Parallel to your vocation as a truly committed Christian, one called to a cloistered heart: I am called to the physical enclosure in which vowed life, community life, and apostolic ministry are but heading in the same direction as you. I like to refer to our prayer life as a cave. We need to enter that cave daily, often, regularly, despite any discomfort or darkness.... We are in this cave to find God - His presence - filling our soul with strength, light, courage, conviction... Staying in union with Him! Only then can we go out into the marketplace, our apostolate. As an RN, I have certainly realized how the professional life tends to pull me away from the cave into dis-equilibrium.
'It is the path in between where we meet our Lord so often. That path... cloistered heart. It's the path in between that must be worn out. This path in between is where I relate.'
The path in between, I now realize, is what I try to 'illustrate' when I place a picture of a quiet church next to a photo of a bustling city.
I like to see connections. I like to be struck by contrasts.
The truth is: I live in the contrasts. Quiet/noise... contemplation/busyness... serenity/chaos...
The path in between is where I live.
Reconciled To You and Theology Is A Verb