Life is not meant to be dismal. Life is not an endurance test. Life is life if we make it that. How do we know for sure that life is meant to be an excursion into joy? Because there is simply too much to enjoy: fishing in a back bay, the view from the mountaintop, wild berries on the hill, a street dance in the neighborhood, a good book, the parish festival, the city culture, the family reunion.
Religious traditions that refuse to enjoy life, reject life. But religion that rejects life is no religion at all. It fails to connect the sacred now with the sacred beyond. To be a contemplative we must bring ourselves to life so that all of life can mediate God to us.
from Illuminated Life by Joan Chittister (Orbis)
As I prepare to go on leave it felt like these lovely words from Sr Joan Chittister are for everyone- not just those of us lucky enough to be having a holiday. Far from requiring solemnity and self-denial at all times, the call to contemplation is about being fully alive, and allowing the wonder of life around us to fill us with joy.
We need to take a sabbath rest from the endless drive to productivity and hold space for fun, for play and for wonder.
Where could life be to you “an excursion into joy” connecting the everyday sacred to “the sacred beyond”?
Grace and peace,