Remember

Mount Rainier with Sunrise Shadow

This arresting photograph of Mount Rainier was taken earlier this week. It reminds me to pause for praise and thanksgiving. Not everything is understandable, comprehensible, rational; and for now, I’m okay with not knowing why or how.

Praise the One who shines in darkness.

via StormWatch 7 | WJLA.com.

Silence at the Heart of Things

After 36 hours of retreat with the Benedictine monks at Glastonbury Abbey, I am reminded of the question raised by a beloved teacher of mine, in an undergraduate seminar 30 years ago: “Why is the man of action absurd?” (She had not yet adopted inclusive language.) Or as Ecclesiastes puts it: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.” (1:9)

One way to take this truth is to ride it down into desperation and defeat: all comes to nothing. There is no point.

Another way to take this truth is to allow it to check our feverishness, and to welcome its injection of a mature irony into our stance toward the world. In a further twist of irony, then, the more deeply we stand in what is authentic about our human lives (including the absurdity of action), the more effective our action becomes.