answers, intention, Letters to a Young Poet, live, patient, perspective, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke's Book of Hours, Sunday, the Lord's Day, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, unfinished business, unsolved
It has become my practice every morning to consider each day a clean slate for my living. Of course there are on-going concerns or projects and I have my lists of “unfinished business” from the previous day (or week or month…) but my intention is to look at everything from the perspective of this day and leave yesterday to the history books. Even more important does that intention become on Sundays for two reasons. It is, after all, the first day of the week, the beginning of a new cycle of events. Additionally it is for Christians the Lord’s Day, the day of Resurrection, thereby giving impetus to thoughts of God and my own sense of hope for myself and the world.
My desire to catapult myself from sleep into newness this morning led me to Rilke’s Book of Hours. As I leafed through the pages, out fell a small sheet of notebook paper that I’ve kept for almost 50 years. A little yellowed by the years, it is otherwise in good shape, having been passed from one book to another from time to time. On it my friend Jan had printed a famous quote from Rilke’s work, Letters to a Young Poet, that was probably encouragement for me during a moment of uncertainty in the novitiate. It was the first time I had encountered Rilke and that text but it has stayed with me and been shared countless times with others. I am fairly certain I have even shared it here. Sometimes, though, repetition is good for the soul – and even the mind. Such is the case for me this morning so I offer it as a new beginning for a new week. May we all be blessed in our seeking!
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers that cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gladly, without even noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.