I am meditating on Love as action today. Not all those who sigh, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom. I am a sigher, for sure. A very lonely lover needing perpetual affirmation from God that I am loved and loving. When I don’t feel it, I believe it still. When I am rejected by the flesh and the world, I fight with hope and I believe it still. When I do feel it, I can rest for a time. Even so, it is a restless restfulness, longing always to share itself, because Love is immanently relational.
Since I have the genetics of an addict, I find that the monastic routine suits me very well. Either I will be addicted to good deeds or bad deeds, there is no other option for me. So, I fill as much of my time as possible with habitual good deeds, until the space left for evil is very tiny and manageable. Thus, my failings cannot derail me or slow my progress too much. I think this is the same reason why some people become workaholics. The beautiful thing about routine prayer is that it is both a good labor and a loving intercourse at the same time.
I’m still only three months or so into the new rule of life I have given myself, and it has been very fruitful. However, constant adaptation and adjustment is necessary. After a work injury broke my flow, I realized that I still needed to organize my hours for days when I don’t have my day job to structure me. God knows, He has given me more than enough to do, my issue is simply deciding what to do ahead of time and committing. If I do not do this, I will end up working on whatever strikes my interest in the moment. Yes, I do need this kind of spontaneous inspired space as well in my life, but only in very small doses; otherwise, it dissipates energy and hinders fruitfulness. Plus, I tend to over-value the spontaneous and the novel. It becomes just another addiction. Instead, when I do what I have planned to do, I find that inspiration and novelty comes to the very task that at first seemed so drudging and mundane. This has been my consistent experience throughout my academic and artistic careers as well as in my personal relationships and my worship of God. All healthy relationships require a degree of commitment and maintenance. It can’t be all spontaneity, or you’ll end of being a really terrible friend and unfaithful lover. A seed that is constantly uprooted and moved to new soil, is never given the time it needs and deserves to grow and become a tree. Faith in Love too takes time and must be fed often, like the mustard seed. Our finitude only allows us so much time to nurture growth, so choose the seeds you are feeding wisely.
The God of Catholicism teaches us to die to ourselves daily in the ritual gift of ourselves, so that when the self is given new life and growth, we may know that it was He who gave it and His work that sustains it and holds it together. Thanks be to God, Jesus Christ died first that we may walk through the power of His godly death, grafted to His vine in the companionship of the Holy Spirit, to give glory to the Trinitarian Father, the one and only God who is a Perfect Family. In this holy work (liturgy) we give new life to children of the Light, even when we do not see them with our eyes.