Advent, commit, commitment, grace, intention, Isaiah, Lectionary, Mark Divine, Scriptures, seek God, St. Louis Jesuits, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, The Way of the Seal, urgency
This morning my reading of the day’s lectionary texts catapulted me back over thirty years into a reverie of liturgical music by the prolific St. Louis Jesuits. These amazing singer/songwriters brought the Scriptures alive with music that is still standard in Catholic churches and other Christian denominations to this day. (Check out YouTube for samples!) Today it was the gospel acclamation that started it all. Seek the Lord while he may be found! declared Isaiah 55:6. Call to him while he is still near! It sounded so urgent – so NOW! (although I must confess to adding the exclamation points myself.) I went then to YouTube to hear again the almost staccato delivery of those words that constitute the entire refrain of the song, building to the news of the three verses that: 1) Today is the day…to turn to the Lord, 2) As high as the sky…are the ways of the Lord, and 3) His words, his ways…lead us to life. Maybe you have to hear it to understand my enthusiasm (so feel free to Google “Seek the Lord” or go to YouTube) but that’s only part one of my morning pondering.
Having been “under the weather,” as they say, for nearly a week (much better now but still less than energetic), I have had a fair amount of time to assess things. I’m looking (albeit briefly) at time management, reorganization of my bedroom (because of spending so much time here), future commitments…lots of things. With the words of the song ringing in my heart, I moved to my computer to write something like what appears in the paragraph above. For some reason I clicked instead on my email account which I always avoid until the blog post is complete for fear of becoming entangled in what can be an entire day’s work. I was aware of going there and proceeded curiously, thinking there might be a reason for the diversion. I was not disappointed as what met my eye was the title of a “daily word” that I received from where and whom I do not know. It said, “How’s Your Commitment?” These are some of the thoughts that followed:
Certainty is a powerful energetic force essential for breaking inertia and developing momentum. The seed of certainty is found in commitment, a one-way street…Take a cue from Yoda, who forcefully mentors Luke: “Do or do not; there is no try!” You must commit with everything you have; otherwise say “no” or “not now.” (from The Way of the Seal by Mark Divine)
So…is there really a way that all this fits together? It seems so to me. How is it that I will choose to attend to the urgency that is growing within me to seek the Lord? I never think there will be a day that the Lord is not near or that grace is not accessible to me, but maybe it is the level of commitment in each moment that needs some energetic infusion in me – a worthy reflection for the season of Advent. Perhaps if the intention takes hold I will know some sort of new birth by Christmas. I can only hope…to commit.