Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Packed and Attached

... the field is the world ... [t]he harvest is the end of the age....

Matthew 13:38-39

Back in Babylon, N.Y., for the next two days. Up at six o'clock and breakfasting with the Sunday newspaper. Morning prayer in my parents' guest room, with meditation afterward; trying to keep up the practices of prayer ingrained in us in Brooklyn, Kansas, and California. There is no vacation from religious life, no vacation from healthy discipline, robust concentration, and studied patience. This was followed by nine o'clock Mass at Our Lady of Grace with my mom. The parish bulletin this week is running the announcement I submitted about my first profession of vows. Already I know that it has gotten attention: just this morning, on the way to church, one of the neighbors on our block, seeing my parents' car stopped at the corner, and me in the passenger seat attired in the habit, came over from his lawn mower and said hello. He said he saw the item in the parish bulletin and wanted to commend me on this achievement.

After church my parents and I ran two errands. Second, we went to the supermarket to buy some fish and vegetables and rice for this evening's meal. First, we went to a self-storage facility to retrieve four boxes with notebooks from my theology classes at Boston University. These, along with four additional boxes of theological texts, a few boxes of personal papers, and a box of compact discs in storage in my parents' basement since May 2012, are being shipped up to Boston tomorrow. I am of two minds about these books and papers. On the one hand, they will be very useful as I prepare to take up theological studies again, and they will be a help for the social justice ministries I will be resuming. On the other hand, I wish I could be rid of this cumbersome property, because books and papers like these require upkeep. It will not be easy to unburden myself of them. I hope to sell off the CDs eventually; the books I hope to donate to our library at San Lorenzo Friary. But the personal papers and notebooks, these are items that are useful to me alone. Either I must hold on to them or let them go and recycle them. Well, I have at least three years to settle the question on these things. Novitiate proved I can live without these papers, but because I haven't abandoned them I am still attached to them. It is one thing to part with material property that you did not create out of your own labor. That's not too hard. But how do you part with things that are the product of your mental labor?

So, we will continue packing this afternoon, recognizing I am not yet fully detached from things I have carried but aiming nonetheless not to get more attached.

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