Sunday, March 11, 2012

Good and Tired

Feeling good and tired after a day of workouts, spiritual, mental, and physical.

First, of course, was the spiritual: Sunday Mass next door at St. Michael-St. Malachy. Today during worship I tried to keep in mind the spirit of two ecumenical councils seven centuries apart, the Fourth Lateran Council and the Second Vatican Council. From the Fourth Lateran Council, the faithful have learned to attend Mass regularly and devoutly, and to show reverence for the liturgy and its ministers. From the Second Vatican Council, the faithful have learned to seek full, active, and conscious participation in the liturgy, especially at Mass on Sundays. They have learned to seek the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the Word proclaimed in Scripture, the ministers, and in themselves as ecclesia, the faithful assembled for divine worship.

This morning, the liturgy suffered from awkward stage management: the collection and the offertory (the bringing of bread and wine to the altar) happened simultaneously; and from technical difficulties: ear-splitting feedback from the microphones, and a malfunctioning organ. Still, these things cannot prevent God from meeting those who come in the name of the Lord. In spite of the liturgical obstacles, I prayed that our contemplation of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the Word of God, the ministers of the Church, and all the faithful would prepare us to humbly receive that presence offered so graciously to us, and to bear that presence to others.

At midday, it was time for a high-intensity burn on the treadmill. If I can get on the stationary bike and/or treadmill for an hour or more, two to three times a week, I am happy. I am striving to make physical exercise as habitual as spiritual exercise. Both are necessary for the long-term maintenance of my person, body-soul-and-spirit.

Through the afternoon I combined mental and physical labor in the kitchen as I cooked the Sunday meal for the brothers. This day, I outdid myself. I made cocktail meatballs (with ground turkey) for an appetizer; Spanish chicken and rice for the main meal; and sides of cornbread and spinach. There was also a raisin cake for dessert, but I baked it last night. I'm pretty proud of the outcome, as much for how the good food boosted our conviviality as for how good the food itself was. And I enjoyed the flow of working slowly and meditatively throughout the warm, sunny afternoon in the bright kitchen around the pleasant odors of bread, spices, and cooking meats.

Now, as I finish pecking at this blog, my whole being feels used up in a positive way. Prayer and work, work in prayer, and prayer in work. May God grant to me (and my brothers) the blessing of many years to pray and work; to make of my body a temple for the Spirit; and to dwell devoutly within my temple, praying and fasting, and laboring to witness to the reign of God already come and yet to come. Then, like the prophetess Anna, I will come forward at the end of my days and give thanks to God for the One who redeems us. And like Simeon, I will come in the Spirit into God's house to behold Jesus, embrace him, and say:

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Luke 2:29-32

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