In March The Sophia Center for Spirituality will offer a five-session series on spiritual practices that foster mindfulness. Far reaching and from diverse spiritual traditions, we hope something in these presentations and exercises will catch the attention of each person who participates. Sister Joan Chittister, the prolific and highly esteemed author of spiritual books, many of which teach about Benedictine spirituality, reminded me this morning of how important it is to be consistently mindful as I go about my days. Here is what she says:
And so Benedict calls all of us to mindfulness. No life is to be so busy that there is no time to take stock of it. No day is to be so full of business that the gospel dare not intrude. No schedule is to be so tight that there is no room for reflection on whether what is being done is worth doing at all. No work should be so all-consuming that nothing else can ever get in: not my husband, not my wife, not my hobbies, not my friends, not nature, not reading, not prayer. How shall we ever put on the mind of Christ if we never take time to determine what the mind of Christ was then and is now, for me. (Wisdom Distilled From the Daily, p. 105)
That about covers everything, I’d say…no life, no day, no schedule, no work, no person or thing. I am fascinated with the way Sister Joan rolls out her sentences so that each slice of life is connected to a practice that – if we are not mindful – is ignored to our detriment. Each of her sentences, therefore, could be a subject for examination of consciousness. How busy am I? Of what is my day full? How tightly do I pack my schedule? What consumes me that hinders my attention to the important things/people in my life? How do I see my capacity for “putting on the mind of Christ?” Weighty questions, these. Perfect for a Saturday perhaps!