Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reading during Lent

During this time of Lent I am reading a biography of Fr Julian Woods, spiritual director of Blessed Mary Mackillop. Some Lenten wisdom from Pope John Paul II. My daily St Andrews Missal.

Yet, strangely, bizarrely, it is my other reading, and my movie going, that is striking me. Hitting me. Making me come up for air.

How do I know you didn't try to flush our entire fucking family down the toilet?
Hopeless emptiness. Now you've said it. Plenty of people are onto the emptiness, but it takes real guts to see the hopelessness.

It takes backbone to lead the life you want, Frank.... You're just some guy who made me laugh at a party once. ...I saw a whole other future. I can't stop seeing it.
Just because you've got me safe in this little trap, you think you can bully me into feeling whatever you want me to feel!

Quotes from Revolutionary Road. My non-Lenten current reading. And yet there is something of the spiritual there. Something that pokes into my soul and into my life.

The same with The Secret Life of Bees, a movie we, some other mothers and I , saw last night. I cried. I screamed ( aloud, in the cinema) at one particular act of violence..... Now, I'm on a search for the book. Because this movie laid bare my thoughts, my cares, those things often locked away and kept secret. But things, concepts, ideas, feelings, prayers, that should be pondered, prayed, during Lent, during a time of spiritual renewal. Of listening to God.

Not always in that still quiet voice but perhaps in words from a book or a film.

Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long.

People who think dying is the worst thing don’t know a thing about life.
... when it's time to die, die, and when it's time to live, live. Don't sort-of-maybe live, but live like you're going all out, like you're not afraid (of dying).

... there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don't even know it.

The first week at August's was a consolation, a pure relief. The world will give you that once in a while, a brief time-out; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat-up life.

... women make the best beekeepers, 'cause they have a special ability built into them to love creatures that sting. It comes from years of loving children and husbands.

You could not stop a bee from working if you tried. ... they are hardworking to the point of killing themselves. Sometimes you want to say to them, Relax, take some time off, you deserve it.

Good advice. Take some time off this Lent to think, to pray, to do penance, to really look at things, to help others.For, we do not necessarily live lives of quiet desperation. No,
Thoreau, we do in fact have many mysteries and many joys in our lives. We simply have to count them, these joys, to look for them, to live them, to grasp life and joy and run and laugh... . To face up to the sorrows, to remember the sorrows of Our Lord and His Mother and to rise up in love.


Chris said...

I loved the Secret Life of Bees movie. The strength of the characters and the deep, enduring peace they found in the face of adversity through of their faith. This movie has substance and a resolution that made me feel contented and satsfied.

Hopewell said...

I've had it on my "to-read" list but keep skipping it. I'm anxious to hear what you think of it. It was in Oprah's Book Club I think.