I love words. I love words written well, words spoken well, words in poetry where the sound of the consonants and vowels also have their own meaning. When I was a child, my favorite subject was creative writing. When I first went to college I studied English for a while.
I connect with God best through beauty, and that beauty includes well written words, often the writings of saints. For the last month or so I’ve been “waking up” and realizing things about myself, mostly that I am who I have always been. I am not going to be satisfied unless I start reading literature again, writing more, and praying from meaningful reflections and thoughts. This is who I am. And it isn’t enough for me to just read them. I need to engage with them and let these thoughts be a catalyst for my own. If I read lazily, nothing happens. If I really try to understand it, though the work may be difficult, I am made more than I was.
Last week, I was lonely. Usually when I’m lonely I see who’s live on a certain website and wants to chat. With a few exceptions this is highly inadequate but, when it’s late and I am already home, this is the best I can do.
This time, I did something different. I picked up a book I was reading. I didn’t expect this to satisfy anything, yet my loneliness subsided. I was in shock. I didn’t realize it could work this way. Last week I also worked on my To Do list which includes various forms of reading and writing as well as learning a skill, art, and music, in addition to more mundane tasks. The week was glorious.
Many of us, are lonely and turn to habits and addictions to deal with that. Many are lethargic and worn out. There are a number of things that can help with these, and here is my new favorite: Geek out on something. Get really into something that challenges you, and yet energizes you even more. Whatever your thing is… do it. We waste so much time on distractions in this day and age, but knowing about conjoined cats’ love lives doesn’t satisfy me and chocolate makes me want more chocolate. As I wrote last week, “If we are who we are called to be we will set the world on fire…” St. Catherine of Sienna. Our hearts will be set on fire too. In a good way.
I know just about everyone reading this has worked out. We don’t often want to work out, yet once we are, we feel alive. Restlessness settles. Angst dissipates. We know we are on the way to becoming. Our brain is like this. We need to exercise it and grow it; we will continually be unsatisfied if we don’t. We have a mental hunger which can translate into hunger for too much food, or lust, or TV, or any number of things that will only create more emptiness. But other things can feed us. There is a hunger in my soul and mind, and it needs to be fed with substance. Learning and studying, perceiving beauty, mediating on the love of God as birthed in me through the words of the saints… these things are substantial food to me. What is it for you? After an exhausting day, try doing one of these rather than something easy. Watch your life change.
May God bless you.