quotidian mystery

“And it always seems that just when daily life seems most unbearable, stretching out before me like a prison sentence, when I seem most dead inside, reduced to mindlessness, bitter tears or both, that what is inmost breaks forth and I realize that what had seemed “dead time” was actually a period of gestation.

It is a quotidian mystery that dailiness can lead to such despair and yet also be at the core of our salvation.  We express this every time we utter the Lord’s Prayer.  As Simone Weil so eloquently stated it in her esssay, “Concerning the Our Father,” the “bread of this world” is all that nourished and energizes us, not only food but the love of friends and faimly, “money, ambition, consideration…power…everthing that gets into us the capacity for action.”  She reminds us that we need to keep praying for this food, acknowledging our needs as daily, because in the act of asking, the prayer awakens in us the trust that God will provide.  But, like the manna that God provided to Israel in the desert, this “bread” cannot be stored.  “We cannot bind our will today for tomorrow,”  Weil writes; “we cannot make a pact with [Christ] that tomorrow he will be within us, even in spite of ourselves.”  Each day brings with it not only the necessity of eating but the renewal of our love of and in God.  This may sound like a simple thing, but it is not easy to maintain faith, hope or love in the everyday.  I wonder if this is because human pride, and particularly a preoccupation with intellectual, artisitc or spiritual matters, can provide a convenient way to ignore our ordinary, daily bodily needs.”

-Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries

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