Thursday, 16 September 2010

Tears before bedtime or actually just after waking ...

My friend, colleague and fellow editor of the Ecumenical Review Theodore Gill has been leading morning prayers this week. As ever the 15-20 minutes he invites us to start the morning with are spiritually uplifting and intellectually stimulating. I try to help as I can with leading any singing that might be needed - though as ever early in the morning this rather depends on whether my voice agrees to behave and whether I know what has been chosen!

On Wednesday morning we had some wry smiles as we listened to the passage from Proverbs 31 on the character of the noble woman! You can find our order of service here.

As we moved into the prayers of intercession I found that tears were splashing down my face. For once I was in the chapel without my bag and so no access to a hanky - it's not really the done thing to wipe your face with the hem of your skirt - certainly not when you have legs like mine! The prayers of reconciliation from Eastern Europe moved me, I can't say too much here about why but they did - it felt to me as if they had been written with my concerns in mind and I felt very much not cut out to live up to such an ideal of forgiveness and newness of life.
I wish I could say that the tears refreshed me but they didn't really. However my early morning chapel tears which sprang from a doubtless deep source of guilt and incompleteness within me were quickly over. For that I am greatful. I have wept too often in recent weeks, indulging in a daydreaming of grief, losing myself in pointless (though it seemed to me very real) pain and sensing no way out or forwards. So perhaps sudden and brief tears are some kind of progress ... I hope so. Not exactly refreshment but getting there.

Daydreaming - Simone Weil
I believe that the root of evil, in everybody perhaps,
but certainly in those whom affliction has touched, is daydreaming.
It is the sole consolation, the unique resource of the afflicted;
the one solace that helps them bear the fearful burden of time;
and a very innocent one, besides being indispensable.
So how could it be possible to renounce it?
It has only one disadvantaage, which is that it is unreal.
To renounce it for the love of truth is really to abandon all one's possessions in a mad excess of love and to follow Him who is the personification of Truth.
And it is really to bear the cross;
because time is the cross.
In all its forms, without exception,
daydreaming is falsehood.
It excludes love. Love is real.