‘in fact everything’

“In the thirty-first chapter of the rule, Saint Benedict states something so remarkable that I keep coming back to it each night as I stack bowls and dry plates.  he says, “All the utensils of the monastery and in fact everything that belongs to the monastery should be cared for as though they were the sacred vessels of the altar.”

All the utensils.

I take the sponge and rinse it in the silver sink.  Nothing in this skinny kitchen is all that special.  And I’ve been living as if my tasks as a mom, those daily, mundane tasks-the brushing of my son’s teeth, the wiping of his bottom, the dressing of his body, the kissing of his scraped knees, the soothing of his wild terrors-as if they were nothing significant, as if they were simply normal, what every mother does.

I’m mesmerized by Saint Benedict’s words, that the monks should care for every tool in the monastery, from the garden hoe to the kitchen cleaver, as if it were the very chalice of the Eucharist, the tool that brings the blood of Christ to the lips of believers.

I am undone.

I’m not sure why I’ve been waiting for this.  I’m not sure why I needed someone to say it to me this way. But with Benedict’s words, I feel my world has been reborn holy.  Suddenly my life, all these small daily instruments I am packing in my home, and the very sippy cup I fill with milk and raise to my boy’s lips, is an instrument of worship.”

-Micha Boyett, “Found”


there’s only…

“There’s never a moment when you learn how to be whole, just like there’s never a moment when you learn how to be a mom, or how to see the holy around you.  There’s only practice.  There’s only noticing.  There’s only the constant prayer that your heart would become what God is making it to be, that you might lift your eyes from the ground where the city is all cement and metal and danger, and toward the warm sun, which burns till the fog flees back across the expanse of the wide skye, beyond the tips of the great buildings.”

-Micha Boyett “Found”

do we see it?

“But most of us, most of the time, take for granted what is closest to us and is most universal.  The daily round of sunrise and sunset, for example, that marks the coming and passing of each day, is no longer a symbol of human hopes, or of God’s majesty, but a grind, something we must grit our teeth to endure.  Our busy schedules, and even urban architecture, which all too often deprives us of a sense of the sky, has diminished our capacity to marvel with the psalmist in the passage of time as an expression of God’s love for us and for all creation:

It was God who made the great lights,
whose love endures forever;
the sun to rule in the day,
whose lose endures forever;
the moon and stars in the night,
whose love endures forever. (Psalm 136)”

-Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries