“In the sweet territory of silence we touch the mystery. It’s the place of reflection and contemplation, and it’s the place where we can connect with the deep knowing, to the deep wisdom way.” Angeles Arrien
“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” Antoine Saint-Exupery
I am nearing the end of my 40 days in the desert of my own making. While I have felt isolated at times, the positive changes I have experienced have made up for the occasional duda.
For 40 days, I have renewed my commitment to contemplation. I began my mornings with Dynamic Catholic’s “Best Lent Ever”, a collection of videos featuring author Matthew Kelly, quotes, and questions meant to prompt reflection on readings and themes. I now write in my Mass journal during every Mass I attend. I have committed to spiritual reading as a daily practice.
In 40 days, my professional life underwent a significant transformation. I went from being fearful, complacent, and exhausted to feeling empowered, focused, and re-energized. All it took was heart-to-heart chats with my credential coach and my longtime mentor and most importantly, prayer. I prayed for clarity and strength. Reading Father Greg Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart helped me revisit my commitment to young people. I needed to revisit “vocation” and “mission” over “job” and “career.”
In 40 days, I have realized that disconnection can lead to reconnection. I am still seeing friends, taking my daughter on adventures, and communicating with folks who make me laugh. I haven’t missed the noise and information overload that often makes me want to give up social networking altogether.
For 40 days, I have read and listened to more books than I have in years. I read M her first chapter book, Charlotte’s Web. M has declared “books are magic.”
Photo by Julie Ann Calderon.
Every year, I cherish my Lenten experience. Then, on Easter Sunday night, I promptly return to my old habits. But, now, with another surgery expected in summer, I need to do what nurtures my family, my health, and my faith. I resolve to stay in the desert every day.