Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Learning to dress myself spiritually is not so different from learning to dress myself physically. As a child, I gradually learned to select and wear clothing appropriate to season and situation. Similarly, as I have matured in spiritual awareness I have become more and more capable of dressing myself in love. Just as I have needed different clothing as I have grown up through childhood, teenage years, adulthood and middle age, so my love-clothing has changed as I have matured as a follower of Christ, as a beloved daughter of God. I have needed larger and larger sizes of compassion as I have worked to manage the challenges of being an exploring child, an energetic teen, a young professional, a wife, a mother, a seasoned worker, and a member of the various communities in which I find myself. As our culture has changed over the years, and new styles of social order have been agreed upon, the way I live into my compassion for others has changed as well –now I send emails as well as cards, text someone instead of calling, and take stock of boundaries when I interact with others. Always, ever since I learned to dress my body, I have taken care to keep both my jeans and dresses clean and pressed with laundry and careful folding, hanging and ironing, and my spiritual love-clothing in good repair and wearable through the disciplines of prayer, confession and quiet service. And I have learned the value of layering – to survive both our local climate and the psycho-social-spiritual milieu of life today; I have learned to wear layers of kindness and patience to protect myself from the sweltering heat of disdainful judgement on one hand, and the icy cold of human indifference and self-centredness on the other. Moreover, I have discovered the wear-ability and durability of the fabrics of selflessness and humility, and by contrast how see-thru and cold are the frivolous, cheaply-made, mass-produced garments of pride and disordered affection. Today, have I clothed myself with the love of God?
Teach us to count our days that we might gain a wise heart ... (Psalm 90:12)
Yes, you must live life beautifully, and not allow the spirit of the world that makes gods out of power, riches and pleasure make you forget that you have been created for greater things. Saint Mother Teresa
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.