First, the good news. I am reading my way through Henri Nouwen's Show Me the Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent. I read it after I read the morning prayers in Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours. It fits nicely with a daily discipline that I already follow.
However, this pilgrim is not doing well with her plan to color on sheets that give me a circle or a square for each day of Lent. The spaces are too small, and my markers have too broad a stroke.
And frankly, adding another daily discipline to my life--in retrospect, I'm seeing the error of this plan. But I would like to play more with color and markers. Should I go to the store and get the perfect notebook? The one that I have that I'm using as my weekly journal that keeps up with my goals and progress--I'd like something like that.
But do I really need to go to the store?
So, I have returned to the arts and crafts bookcase, and sure enough, I have some old sketchbooks. They feel almost too big, but maybe the 6 x 8 sheets will be a good antidote to the too-small circles and squares.
The other problem I have with restrictive daily disciplines is that they may edge out the serendipitous discoveries that could come my way. I had no plans to read The Fellowship: the Literary Lives of the Inklings by Carol Zaleski and Philip Zaleski as part of my Lent. But it's a wonderful Lenten journey. It's about the literary and spiritual lives of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and their circles.
I find it curious that I can read this book and feel absolutely no desire to read the works of these writers. I have a fondness for some of the theology of Lewis, and I spent my childhood years devouring the Narnia series. I read The Hobbit, and although I enjoyed it, I couldn't make my way through any other Tolkien work.
When I read Paul Elie's The Life You Save May Be Your Own, I immediately went back to Flannery O'Connor (who, truth be told is never far from my thoughts) and Thomas Merton. I wanted to read Dorothy Day and Walker Percy. It was a different experience from The Fellowship.
It's good to remember that we are still in the early days of Lent. There is still hope for our Lenten disciplines.
feeling the feelings…
7 months ago