Monday, December 19, 2011

PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS WITH RICHARD ROHR


"When we demand satisfaction of one another, when we demand any completion to history on our terms, when we demand that our anxiety or any dissatisfaction be taken away, saying as it were, “Why weren’t you this for me?  Why didn’t life do that for me?” we are refusing to say, “Come, Lord Jesus.”  We are refusing to hold out for the full picture that is always given in time by God.

When we set out to seek our private happiness, we often create an idol that is sure to topple.  Any attempts to protect any full and private happiness in the midst of so much public suffering have to be based on illusion about the nature of the world in which we live.  We can only do that if we block ourselves from a certain degree of reality and refuse solidarity with “the other side” of everything, even the other side of ourselves."


--Adapted from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr

L.A. sunsets, in December, tend toward sapphire and apricot. The mornings are cold--the grass wet, the flagstones slippery with dew. The farmer's markets are full of orange persimmons, earthy sweet potatoes, acorn squash with leathery skin the color of evergreen trees. Front yards burst with creamy, lush roses, drooping clusters of scarlet toyon berries, bougainvillea--magenta, fuchsia, imperial purple--flaming so brightly the blooms seem to be lit from within.

It’s 5 a.m. and dead quiet, an hour in which it is easy to imagine the whole city holding its breath. Blue Christmas lights—one rogue pink replacement bulb calling to mind my own imperfections—frame the window behind my chair. Two black pottery angels from Oaxaca hold beeswax candles. The branches of the Brazilian pepper tree rustle and the pewter sky lightens slowly to peach. The garbage truck pulls up and I hear the grinding of gears, the wheeze of the claw, the contents of the upended trash container being poured into the truck’s maw. In another hour, the cat will cry for his breakfast.
            
I open my breviary. I seek your face; your face, Lord, I desire. In the gathering dawn, I sit, bathed in the shadowy blue light, and wait.

THIS IS ACTUALLY DUSK,
BUT THE POINT IS I'VE BEEN SPENDING
A LOT OF TIME IN THE DARK...

3 comments:

  1. Nice piece. Even the vegetables sound good.

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  2. Hail, Sister Watcher, waiting for the dawn!
    I love to read Zechariah's Canticle each day as I pray before dawn, especially the promise: In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us. O, that it would come in a sudden rush! In the meantime, I cherish the sudden little bursts of light that come our way. I spied my partially paralyzed beagle sitting, gazing at the little creche beneath my Christmas tree this morning, as if he knows/sees with ease what humans (like me) grasp with so much labor. That was a tiny dawn for me today. My take away from that was a reminder to be there when God grasps me in such moments.

    Thanks for your very inspiring blogs, Heather!

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  3. I kept the longer one...thank you!!

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