Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every
purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.
Mark 6: 31
You must come away to some lonely place all yourselves and rest awhile; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat.
Nurturing the Heart (Robert Wicks , “Snow Falling on Snow”)
Read a bit
Listen to a favorite song
Call a friend
Remember a kindness
Help the poor
Close doors gently
Do what you can
Relax for a moment
Tease yourself often
Take a quiet walk
Tell God a funny story
“Our uneasiness and our frantic scrambling are caused by our distorted sense of time, which seems to be continually running out...We are always meeting deadlines; we are always short on time, we are always running out of time….The monastic understanding of time is that it is holy; an hour is not only a unit of time composed of 60 minutes. It is not a numerical measure; it is a soul measure...for our God is present, and where God is, is holy.”
(D. Steindl-Rasst, OSB, “The Music of Silence” and the song “Holy Ground.”)
Time is all we really have to work with in life. It is given to us as gift and opportunity; we so often turn it into an oppressive burden; we make it enemy instead of friend. We talk about losing it, wasting it, spending it; we save it, count it, and invest it. We too often forget to savor it. We worry and are anxious about so many things; we fill our moments with frenzied activity, and go to bed wondering if what we have lived really is life! Holy leisure is the foundation of all contemplation. Holy leisure is the seed bed of gratitude and appreciation. Holy leisure nurtures hope. Holy leisure is the basis for play, and for cultivating a Sabbath heart.
(thoughts from THERE IS A SEASON by Joan Chittister, OSB)
For your Reflection:
1. How do you experience time? Is it gift, burden, etc…?
2. What time is it in your soul?
3. Have you ever been so busy there was not even time to eat?
Be with Jesus and the disciples in the scene depicted in Mark 6:31.
What might have been the conversation between Jesus and his disciples?
What could you contribute to the conversation?
4. Reflect on the relationship of leisure, contemplation and play.
What faces does busyness wear in your life? How do you play?
Is there space for contemplation in your life?
What changes would you like to make so that you might savor life more?
What do you want to say to God about this?
Follow the suggestions for “Nurturing the Heart.”
Which ones present the greatest challenge for you?
Copyright © 2018 by Kathleen McNany, OSB
Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore, MD