As soon as they’re open, I’m going to join a gym. And hey! Once a month… no, twice a month is going to be a No-Screens-Family-Night with board games and popcorn once we’ve all helped clean up after dinner! Ohhh! Yeah! 2023 is going to be the best yet! Oh – and yeah. I, that is we are going to say the Rosary as-a-family every night before bed; well, maybe twice or, errrh, once a week. Well, once a month for sure!
Why all this new action, new effort, new determination? A stupid question? Now, my most favorite ole teacher told me that there’s no such thing as a ‘stupid question’! Tell me why. Please. To get stronger – to feel better! Yeah, I can see that. And to get closer to the best people in the world – Family. You bet! That’s a good one, too! And the Rosary? Yeah, I kinda know, but what do you mean by it? Hey, hey now. Come on back! I’m just messin’ with ya. Come on. Settle down.
Here’s what I’m getting at. It’s good to be healthy. Yeah, and it’s good to keep the home fires burnin’ so to speak. But the praying stuff; you know, your last little thing on your list of Resolutions for this New Year. The part you couldn’t quite explain. Now-now, I know you think I should know. And, I do, but I’d like to here it from your point of view. Nooo. This is not going to be like pulling teeth without an anesthetic.
Let me get you started here… underneath Everything is Something Else, right? Kinda holding that Something up. Then under That is Something Else holding That Thing up. And so on. Until you get to the very Rock-Bottom-of-Things. Now the Rock-Bottom-of-Things is already there when you first arrive. It’s not something YOU make or put there. But the Next Thing… that is the first thing you put on top of it needs to be: Just. Right. It’s got to be stable and… and strong, and unmoveable so that the next levels on top of it can be that way too.
So we’re building Our Little Houses – you know, Our Lives. But they only last for so long, right? Yeah, I know. Sad-but-true. But because of it, we want our lives to be, you know, Good. As good as we can make them. Are ya with me so far? So how do we build on the Rock-Bottom? What is the first layer of Goodness? Yeah, good health so we can live a long time is good. Yeah, but listen… Yeah, close family ties so that long life can be a secure and happy one is really good, too. Yeah. But. Listen… It’s all going to tumble down one day, right? It’ll all wear out… one day.
But that’s not the end-of-the-story, is it? No. It’s not. There’s What-Comes-Next. It’s the, you know, the “Why” we did everything as best we possibly could for in the first place. But what is it? Hey, ya got me. But it’s there. I can feel it – sometimes I can see the results of it right here under my own nose! Yeah, I knew you could, too. We all do, one way or another. Anyway. Here’s what I mean… why spend all your effort, all your life on the part that goes away one day? Yeah, sure. It’s fun, and it does last for awhile. But, then… But… then… (Come on, you know what I mean!) But… then… Yeah! The What-Comes-Next.
Look, the Rock-Bottom is for when you’re healthy – and if-and-when you’re not. It’s for when you’re in the middle of your close-knit family – and for if-and-when it disappoints or even falls apart. The Rock-Bottom is for the beginning of life, the middle of life, the end of life… and for after the end of life. It runs through Ev-ery-Thing! And while your Ev-ery-Thing may not hold together or be what you want – The Rock-Bottom keeps you together with… well, with it’s wonderful, dependable, ole Self.
Yeah! Yeah! You’ve got it! The Rock-Bottom Bedrock we can build our Lives on is God! He’s what puts us here, keeps us here as long as we’re meant to be here, and folds us up in his loving arms at the End-Which-Is-Not-an-End.
Building on the bedrock? Well, no, you’re right, you can’t just lay things on top of it – you’ve got to connect with it. You know. Drive pilings right down into it so you can never come loose! How? Come on, you know how. Just want to hear me say it, huh? Okay: prayer. Don’t feel much like doing that? I understand. Then ask for his Grace.
What’s Grace? It’s strength when you are weak. It’s determination when you waiver. It’s even I-want-to when you don’t particularly want-to. It’s the greatest Gift this side of Jesus-Son-of-God-on-earth-for-our-Redemption. Well, it is God’s gift; yeah, Jesus’ gift, too. Yeah, the Spirit’s Gift, too. Well, yeah, he is… they are The Gift. I don’t know how. Well, of course we all want to know “How” it’s done. No. Nope, none of that. The answer is there. It’s like that joke that goes: “Wait for it… Wait… for it… “ Yeah, I know. I want to know now, too.
So. What’s first? Join the gym? Set up a monthly family night? What’s first for you this New Year? Prayer? Ahhh, regular prayer. Yeah, well, asking for Grace-to-Want-to-Do-It is prayer too – I think you’re right on that one. Yup. Yup. Amen, indeed.
Lectio Divina based on the Mass Readings for 1 Jan 2023
by Ms. Catherine “Cathie” Lambert, OP