After our visit, I headed up to the Grotto. I had some free time and was searching for some time alone with God. I found myself wandering around the gift shop in search of a book to inspire me as I sat in the Meditation Chapel on the cliff, pondering life, God and my place in all of this.
I found the perfect book - or perhaps it found me! "Out of Solitude" by Henri Nouwen.
It seems that lately, the theme of our group is healing. As I search for words of comfort for a friend who has just survived a breakup..As I cover my own wounds from harsh, judgmental words from my mother (which I feel were not meant to hurt me, but to cover her own pain and confusion), as I try to find strength to serve God and others, while enduring my own weakness and failings....I found deep meaning in these words from his section entitled "With Care". I wanted to share them with you. Much food for thought for me here!
"Out of solitude Jesus reached out his caring hand to the people in need...Jesus indeed cared...What we see, and like to see, is cure and change. But what we do not see and do not want to see is care: the participation in the pain, the solidarity in suffering, the sharing in the experience of brokenness...In a community like ours, we have put all the emphasis on cure...Real care is not ambiguous. Real care excludes indifference and is the opposite of apathy. The care finds it roots in the Gothic 'Kara', which means to lament. The basic meaning of care is 'to grieve, to experience sorrow, to cry out with." The friend who can be silent with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares...to care means first of all to be present to each other...Our tendency is to run away from the painful realities or to try to change them as soon as possible. But cure without care makes us rulers, controllers, manipulators, and prevents a real community from taking shape. Cure without care makes us preoccupied with quick changes, impatient and unwilling to share each other's burden. And so cure can often become offending instead of liberating...It is therefore not so strange that cure is not seldom refused by people in need. Not only have individuals refused help when they did not sense a real care, but also oppressed minorities have resisted support, and suffering nations have declined medicine and food when they realized it was better to suffer than to lose self-respect by accepting a gift out of a non-caring hand."
I woke up early this morning, about 2 a.m. to the sound of rushing water. My window was open. And the sweet smell of rain was blowing into my room. I was so happy! I love the rain. It seems to clean the air, the ground and my very soul. I felt quite refreshed when I finally got out of bed later. I did a quick brisk walk on the trail and then headed out for lunch with two very dear musical friends of mine. It was time well spent. And I made a good food choice! My friends had humongous hoagies, which I was trying not too oogle. I had a nice salad of greens, black beans, corn and chicken. No bread. Was nice to come out of my cave and spend time eating and talking.
I am feeling very balanced today.
I will have to do my weight and measurements tomorrow, because today I literally hit the ground running.
Happy Monday! :)