The holidays have arrived! Thanksgiving weekend closed with the first Sunday of Advent, in honor of which I caught the flu, unfortunately missing the first day of the new Mass translations and everything. But among the changes introduced by the season is the blogalectic's temporary shift into a discussion we can all more or less post freeform upon.
"Sacred time," said Mr. Pond, by way of topic suggestion. "In the quotidian," added Masha. And though we spoke of talking primarily as artists, as it turns out I can't think how to separate this idea from religion.
"O my God, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, grant me the grace to continue in Thy Presence; and prosper me with Thy assistance. Receive all my works, and possess all my affections."—Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of GodIf only I were close to making all my time sacred, to devoting the proper hours to work and prayer and not to futzing around on the Internet or marathoning through insanely creepy 800-page novels on the excuse that I have the flu. I confess I'm not. And it's hard to be sorry when I know that thanks to the novel-binge, I can now spend the hours before bedtime working on my own stories and not reading madly, convinced that I'm condemning myself to dream about murderous fairies.
But there's no time like Advent for remembering that I never regret having prayed morning prayer, that getting meals ready in reasonable time is a worthwhile act of love, that minimizing the Internet and maximizing Scrivener will nearly always leave me happier about my day. Or that all of these things can be done in devotion.
[Brother Lawrence] examined himself how he had discharged his duty; if he found well, he returned thanks to God; if otherwise, he asked pardon; and without being discouraged, he set his mind right again, and continued his exercise of the presence of God, as if he had never deviated from it. “Thus,” said he, “by rising after my falls, and by frequently renewed acts of faith and love, I am come to a state, wherein it would be as difficult for me not to think of God, as it was at first to accustom myself to it.”—from The Practice of the Presence of GodThat book says some things better than I ever will. It's also short, and every bit as free and online as this blog.
There are, however, a few key things I'd love to talk about in regard to sacred time and the artist: silence and ritual, for instance. I'll save them for the next few weeks.... Masha, the floor's all yours.