I just finished reading a book called Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, A Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith by Judith Valente. The author is a journalist who has written for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. She is a busy professional woman, married to a man who had a previous marriage and two daughters from that marriage. The book is about her time among the Benedictine nuns in Atchison, Kansas. She visits there, spends a week or so at a time, and writes about that experience.
What comes through in the book is the busyness of the author’s life, how she tries to make time for prayer, and how she is welcomed into the lives of these Benedictine nuns and through them, comes to see that the holy is found in the ordinary things of life, that it’s not a matter of finding spirituality “out there” someplace. By observing the lives of these sisters, the author begins to consider how she might become a more forgiving person, how she might become more contemplative in her daily life, how she might look for signs of God’s presence within the ordinary circumstances of her life, among her family, friends, and at work. She comes across as very human, freely admitting that she often falls short, which of course is true for all of us. I found it an easy read, easy to go through a few pages at a time. Highly recommended!
All of this goes along with a reflection I found in Give Us This Day, written by Richard Gula, for Saturday April 25, the feast day of St. Mark. He writes about what it means to evangelize, i.e. what does it mean to share the gospel with others. He writes: “Evangelization is about naming grace. It is not about bringing God to people, as though God were not already there. Evangelists in every age do not make God present, but name God’s presence. Mark’s gospel shows us how the familiar is our Temple, and the ordinary is the home of God….the Gospel of Mark lets us conclude that every human experience, if given a chance, can speak to us of God. The commission to evangelize requires us to be poets, or interpreters of everyday experience.”
You might have noticed that after communion, we now bring the ciborium with hosts back to the tabernacle preceded by one Eucharistic minister carrying a candle. We think this adds a dignity and solemnity to that procession. Congratulations to all of the children who made their first communion last weekend and also this weekend. And thanks to all of our faith formation staff and parents for all their work in making it happen.
Blessings on your week!