Listening To My Life

“The way of loving him is so very simple: the diapers, the baking, the laundry; sitting quietly, telling stories to the children, holding the hand of one’s spouse. All are little acts of love, directed not only to one’s family but to God. This is what he wants.

The farmer plowing his field, the plumber doing repairs, the husband spending time with his wife and children, all realize this is what God asks. The stenographer who is in love with God knows that documents done perfectly are acts of love. The nurse, the taxidriver – everyone, everywhere! – can absorb this fourth paragraph of the Little Mandate. [note: Catherine Doherty, The Little Mandate, paragraph four is: “Do little things exceedingly well for love of Me.”] It’s so simple. It’s a song of love.

washing-window

Listen to the dishes. Listen to the laundry. Listen to the work of the gardener or the farmer. A great and beautiful chorus is rising up from the hearts of men and women who believe. And the love of Jesus Christ responds to that chorus of love, because that is the way he worked for many years, writing us love letters.”

[Catherine Doherty: Sobornost. Experiencing Unity of Mind, Heart and Soul, pgs. 84-85]

10 thoughts on “Listening To My Life

  1. “β€œThe way of loving him is so very simple: the diapers, the baking, the laundry; sitting quietly…”

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, so true!

    I LOST MY DREAMS…

    I lost my dreams
    I held them so long-
    While singing my babies
    A lullaby song
    I lost my dreams
    Each one I did pick-
    Perhaps when all night
    Up with children so sick
    I lost my dreams
    So articulated clear-
    Making soups, homemade breads
    For my family so dear
    I lost my dreams
    That would show off my charms-
    Instead spent much time
    In my husband’s strong arms
    I lost my dreams
    To seek fortune and fame-
    Probably crushed
    When I knelt in His Name
    I lost my dreams
    Giving blood tears and love-
    But those are the things
    That dreams are made of.

  2. ehehe I rushed to long skirts’ blog, thinking it was Carol in another pen-name spinning mood…but here I find out it’s someone else, lol! (hi long skirts!)

    Gab, I now know what it feels like to have to set someone straight in a combox…It’s not an easy thing to do…Otherwise, the summer is going ok…weather not too hot, (but warming up to a boil soon), going on vacation in a few days. Then I’ll be able to listen (maybe) to the tap tap of my computer keyboard, among all the other things, hopefully to post something at my “place” and to send a few emails to folks!…ciao for now!

  3. The key word in all this for me is “listen.” You see I don’t think I’m a very good listener! I simply TALK TOO MUCH! This is a wonderful lesson for me! Thank you!

  4. Hello, Long-Skirts, and welcome. What a beautiful poem. All these precious moments, and years, and stages, if we’re not fully present to them, will be lost, and we will regret not having been “there” – for having lived life waiting for a future dream…but they are the moments, as you say, that real dreams are made of. Whenever I post something like this, also reminiscent of C. Houselander and many others (and St. Therese’s Little Way), it’s more because I need to reinforce it for myself. I often struggle with living in the present moment and seeing the beauty of each task.

    Pia, I can see exactly why you thought so!!!
    (I’m sorry to hear you had a bit of stress blog-wise; hope everything’s okay now).
    We’ve been very busy here too the last few months, and it’s taken its toll on my blogs and my solitude, not to mention visiting other bloggers and answering email. I hope you have a wonderful vacation, with lots and lots of time for writing, reflection or whatever nourishment you need right now!

    Hi Cathy. Thank you for being such a faithful visitor, especially since I am not…
    I’ll bet you’re a very good listener when it comes to people, though…maybe we’re the same in needing to strengthen our “listening” skills when it comes to what our daily chores/routines are telling us. I know that this is what our Morning Offering is all about, but I struggle to remember it during the day!

  5. Your post is reminiscent of the attitude of Br. Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God). Are you familiar with this book, written about the same time as many of the medieval mystics’ works? Everything he did, even the most mundane activity such as peeling potatoes, he did for the glory of God. If you have not read it, it is a small but marvelous book.

    Beth

  6. Wow. I don’t know what has touched me more, the musing, or the compliments and kindness. Long-skirts is an authoress, I think, and I think we *met* online long ago via her writing of her adolescent nephew who’d passed away? Either way, good to see you, and good to see ALL of ya’s.

    For now, I’m out dancin’ with tiger lilies, but I did want to say: oh, yes –how we need the above reminder, G, and practicing the Presence, yes, and

    I hope everyone’s well.πŸ™‚

  7. Hello, Beth. This is so lovely – two new visitors with this post – I’m very touched! Yes, I have Brother Lawrence’s book, and I think I read it (several years ago) around the same time as I found Jean-Pierre de Caussade, with similar teachings. They both made a big impact on me, but my practice in this regard has not been a huge success (but has been getting much better the last year or so, I think). I have found, over the years, and in talking with others about this as well, that it is closely connected with people “fighting” their state in life, or being tempted to think that their spiritual path is at odds with their state in life. I think this is something very common in the lives of lay contemplatives in the world – all the more reason for us to embrace these teachings and do our best to recall them often during the day as we go about our duties… Thanks so much for commenting!

    Hi, Carol! We’re still waiting for a new blog from you… it’s been too long… Happy you are enjoying your garden! Ours is looking good too (yes, in the garden I have no problem with practicing the presence of God, except for those earwigs), but it was cold today, like autumn! Of course, everyone else was out in shorts and shirt-sleeves like good Canadians, but I had my usual three sweaters on! Will catch up with you soon; promise!

  8. My torontonian cousin always hails the virtues of the robust canadians…I’m very surprised, Gab, that robust-ness does not figure among your many virtues… πŸ˜‰

    Hey Carol!!Missing you, too!

  9. Pia, I went and looked at your troublemaker. As our paisano Al would say, “hooWAH!” wow.. I’d wanted to say, “Anthos, you are strugging with your own carnality, not with Mary’s virginity, and you’re one of the damned reasons other people have to make so much reparation, because you’re breaking Two Hearts with this baloney!” And yet, in my own way, I have caused a need for reparation to Mary, too, even if mostly by omission, so I have no room to talk. But I see that our feisty and brilliantly articulate little Pia set him straight PDQ!! Whew! Girl, you were smokin’!! Good for you!

    As for me, I don’t anticipate another blog.. I am enjoying visiting others’.. I am being made to think by others’. I’m grateful for that.

    We here in New England are astounded by our gardens. We’ve had so much rain (all of June) that we are living in the midst of what looks like a rain forest — lush, lush, lush stuff all around. We have ferns, huge healthy ones, everywhere.. do you know how much money I’ve spent trying to keep bought ferns alive in former years ?? lol

    I have fought with my state in life. And suddenly, I’m not. Suddenly, I’m seeing what I’d have lost out on, if not for all this mundane and endless monotony of monumental messes, lol. Seriously. Truly. This is what He wants. This is what pleases Him. Our time with Him, even in the folding of a napkin for some other guest.. This is why we are planted where we are planted. It stretches all the way behind us, and all the way to our ongoing generations-to-be. What we do now, matters, even if only we and He see it.

  10. Pia, indeed, your troubles were a tad peculiar and out-of-the-blue, weren’t they. I agree with Carol one-hundred percent; you are “brilliantly articulate” and I for one crave more of your writing (although not under those particular circumstances).

    I have been called many things in my life, but robust has never been one of them. πŸ˜‰

    Carol, I know what you mean, and I have felt over the last year or so that I am more accepting of circumstances as well; at least, I am more aware daily of the way everything can be and is being used for ourselves and for others, and it has brought a lessening of anxiety and a simpler kind of freedom with it.

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