Several days during this past week seemed, virtually anyway, like a humongous pile of dirty dishes that kept replenishing themselves, independent of me. Meaning that my productive intentions for the day were cast aside and piling up. That there was very good reason for my lack of productivity did not help-the fact remains that I’m behind. Way behind.
By now-the middle of July- I should be writing like crazy, clear about the plot and direction of my newest book, Plausible Liars, but I am so far from that destination that I am returning to sanctify the mess: relearning old lessons!”
The priest who organized the day did so from the perspective of a parish priest-not a Benedictine monk or contemplative but one with bills to pay and meals to prepare.
Years later, I find myself returning to the talks Fr. Nathan gave along with some pithy and practical information he provided.
Sanctify the mess!
His point was this: Since we have not chosen the life of a contemplative but the one of living in the world, sometimes all we can do is work at sanctifying the mess we are currently living in.
I thought about this a great deal this week-when none of my plans for my week came to fruition. One in which when I had the time, I lacked the energy, or will, to work on the new book.
never permit a deep breath and certainly not a smile when they climb inside our gut and psyche and vacuum away every shred of energy.
It feels as if we will feel this terrible forever.
Remembering Fr Nathan’s words: sanctify the mess, I can have a lengthy conversation with myself and with God.
I think that is what he meant by sanctifying the mess.
One of the priest’s last comments was about gratitude- the antidote to depression…sanctification of our messes is impossible without gratitude. Always, we can find something to be thankful for…some days, it simply takes more effort.
One of the countless precious lessons our 4-footed furry friends can teach us. Just spend time watching him or her to learn the firm disposition of habitual perfections of will and ordered passion.