Thursday, January 17, 2013

Being Pensive

Lectio Divina

The Son did not come to help angels.

Hebrews 2:16 (New Living Translation)


Staying home today, so I am plowing through Mumford, The City in History. Reading his perspectives on the medieval city and the Church makes me grieve for our failure throughout time to witness to the reign of heaven. Instead of building the city of God, a temporary dwelling place for pilgrims on the way to the kin(g)dom to come, the Church and society have continued to rebuild cities of Babylon. A shame, and it's got me feeling grumpy all over again. Also quite taken by his take on Francis of Assisi and what became of the Franciscan movement at the hands of a well-meaning, well-intentioned, but not always inspired, unwittingly mendacious, and often downright malicious Church. I agree with Mumford, though I suspect most of my Franciscan brothers would not.


Completed, for now, our study of the Capuchin Constitutions. We have only just begun to imbibe of their spirit. Brother Jack, who left this morning, also left us an essay by him for a work in progress on the theological foundations of the Constitutions.

Continuing, in a different key, the hermitage time of yesterday into today. Going offsite for fraternal recreation is an option, even a concession, not an obligation. So I'm staying put and reading Mumford and being pensive.

But I must not get too withdrawn. Unlike Saint Anthony of Egypt, I'm not cut out for perpetual solitude. Being by myself for too long makes me forgetful of my neighbor; it makes me treat my neighbor less than neighborly. Isolation will only beget misanthropy. Becoming a brother is my salvation. It is also my penance, but firstly it is my liberation from alienation, a freeing from my divisive, turned-in, violent self.


It's a beautiful day out there. There is always more beauty than we can perceive. I wish I could see and feel it. Today I don't feel as beautiful as God made me -- can't see what God sees. Christ, have mercy.

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