On a slightly more positive note than my last post, I had a skype meeting with one of the Community Guardians on Sunday, and it was really interesting. It was good to catch up with him and to talk about trying to live the Rule of St Benedict, and how it's beginning to shape me just a little bit. He gave me a really good suggestion to try.
One of the things that's been quite hard for me is lectio divina (divine reading) - basically picking a bit of the Gospels and "chewing it over" - not reading for study, but trying to absorb and experience it - the difference between a quick shower and a long soak in the bath, I guess! I find this both transformative and very hard, as I'm not naturally a patient person and all my years of study make me more likely to exegete the passage rather than try to absorb it and listen to it. Brother suggested that I find one passage and let one word emerge, and then live with that word for a month. I love John's Gospel, so went back to the wonderful prologue of John:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made;
without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life,
and that life was the light of all.
The light shines in the darkness,
but the darkness has not overcome it.
As I chewed over this lovely passage, a couple of things stood out: the wonderful parallels, the internal structure (it shows in English but even more clearly in Greek), the deliberate echoes in our Easter Day liturgy. But the thing, the word, that became really important was light - Christ as the light of the world, shining in the dark, that can never be ruled or overcome by the dark. I was reflecting on different kinds of light and how they show different things: with hubby being a very keen semi-professional photographer, we're both really alert to the different colours of light. Late afternoon autumn light is really gorgeous and golden; early morning light is cold and blue, moonlight more silvery and makes confusing shadows. Different lights, different shadows and accents - we see different things, but always the light rules the darkness.
So I have been trying through the frustration and difficulty of today to live with light: where is the light showing up my darkness? What kind of light is it? What are the different kinds of light showing me? (Very funny that when I got back to my motel room after dinner last night, the lightbulb blew!).
There may be more light to come!