Halloween and the trick and treaters are just around the corner. The month of November is coming fast and with it the opening of the autumn season of gratitude. We are just past the highlight of splendorous leaf colors in southwest Michigan. But I also love the season as it turns rustic and brown and aromas of burning leaf piles and first fire in the fireplace waft through the air.
I don’t really have any trouble feeling grateful in any season, but I always especially love it around Thanksgiving time. It is my favorite holiday.
This morning our elderly parish priest (more elderly than I) delivered his memorized gospel scripture verses as he usually does. It was about the blind man being cured by Jesus. In his homily, Father O’Leary said it was important to note that the Jesus asked him, “What do you want?” And the man replied, “that I may see”. Jesus restored his sight.
But the scripture goes on to say that the man followed Jesus after receiving his sight. Father said it is not explained in the verses WHY he followed the Master, just that he did. The priest said he ventured a guess that the man “wanted something MORE” than just his sight”. That is plausible.
The priest also said he is leaving for a 30 day sabbatical of quiet in a Benedictine monastery. That’s not surprising as I know him to be a sincere practitioner and proponent of the Prayer of the Quiet, Centering Prayer.
He said, contrary to rumor, he is not discerning his retirement, but looking for the completely quiet environment, in which I think he is fairly certain that he will and already has in his lengthy vocation found the “something more”.
I think that SOMETHING MORE, in this sense, is a great way to think of having and receiving more in my life without feeling gluttonous or being filled with fears of ownership.
I have had a lot of noise in my life lately, and I, too, have daily faithful prayer practices to the quiet. The noise comes from several sources and has had me a little off balance. During this time I have not written as Napkinwriter in my usual pattern. I have missed doing that.
Some of the noise has come from a deep resident sinus and lung infection that hung on for an unusually long time. I am very healthy and rarely sick, but this one took me to task. It reminds me to continue to pray for those who do suffer ill health or pain frequently.
The noise also comes from visitations to both of my brothers, who really are in ill and incapacitated states of health. It tugs on my timeline and heartbeat of our brother-sister relationship. So I find it hard to not resist the march of time and the lack of options they both have. It weighs heavy on my heart.
Of less serious consequence is the Detroit Tiger baseball team being down 3-0 in the World Series and needing to put it on the line tonight if there is any chance for a miraculous comeback.
Also, Tom has issues with the squirrels. We enjoy watching the finches, bluebirds, cardinals, robins, bluejays and a variety of woodpeckers who feast on their station on our back deck. But the squirrels also come uninvited. I hear unexpected loud shouts of “bang, bang” “get out of here” “go” at times I am not prepared for it and jump right out of my chair. He has resorted, also to using a squirt pump rifle, and douses them occasionally.
I think there is a critter “watch-out” below the deck, and they win most of the time. I also suggested a feeder at ground level for the squirrels to see if that discourages them. Nothing else has.
Our careful spending budget sometimes makes noises too….”But I want this….or I need that”, and then I summit up visions of spending my $1 available in five different and worthy ways, only one of them being “discretionary”, for all else seems to be needs that pop up, or have been waiting a long time to be redeemed.
Of course, this is the end of the political season, and that noise trumps all other noise. Being at home a lot, Tom and I have followed the campaigns closely. It is a lot to take in, even as you are trying to make an informed decision.
The parties seem — more than seem — they are very different approaches to very serious problems. The country seems evenly divided between the two candidates this close to Election Day. Both sides fear that if the other party gets elected, we are in for dire consequences.
It does not seem that there can be two Truths — as divided as these candidates are in their systems and philosopohies, they each would have you believe there are two Truths. Their own — and the wrong one.
Regardless of who the winner turns out to be, we the citizens of this country, are going to have to trust. Trust, in bigger quantities than we ever have before. In order to go forward with my personal life and contribute to it as I can, I will have to pray and trust that the leader, whoever he is, will do the following for us:
make a genuine effort to work it out at the national level that we have a safe and prosperous country; that something will change positively in the economy for our generation and generations to come; that health care will be fairly and economically distributed among all, and that the elderly and the unborn will be treated as the sacred beings they are.
In other words, we the voters, want you, the leader of the next four years to be a WORTHY leader and provide WORTHY leadership because, regardless of who we vote for, that is what anyone’s vote really amounts to.
We want you, the leader, to be worthy of our choice.
So, sometimes in the appearances of possible scarcity, I am grateful for and want more of the singing I hear in my soul. It is different tunes all the time, but this past week, it has been…..
“Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest. And on Earth, Peace on Earth, Peace to people of Good Will.” from the Gloria of the Mass.
Good Will……. I will take more and more and more of……all the time.