The first winds of Pentecost began to lift my spirits after Mass on Friday. Nothing was particularly extraordinary about the Mass, at least on the surface. Mostly, the same words were spoken. I knelt and rose in response to the liturgy as I always do. I battled the same distractions. I took the body and blood of Christ into myself, and experienced the joy of doing so. But when I was walking back to the tea cafe, strength surged through me. Ah, lovies, this is why we soldier on, being not weary in doing well. I may have told you, but lately I've floundered in trying to find my place as my friends and loved ones have shifted into theirs. Lisa has the tea shop. Ken works there. Will is completing his dissertation for his PhD. My work seemed so vague to me by comparison. This is the danger you experience when you spend too much time looking at God's work in other people, and lose sight of what he is doing in your life. And though I knew being the abbess of our community was more the reason why I'm here, even more than working in our eventual house of hospitality, I couldn't grasp it.
These are the words that came to me on the way back from Mass on Friday, however: "I am the abbess of an emerging New Monastic community." I said it again and again. "I am the abbess of an emerging New Monastic community." This is my work. I go to Mass most days. Why? Besides the fact that I must! That is my work.
I write books, and even they have changed. They are more about teaching people to pray now. I swing open the doors to my heart, and open my spiritual ears, in order to offer spiritual direction, or what I call soulcare. Soon, you will see a Sunshine Abbey blog, and products such as eBooks and courses that will help you connect more deeply to God. It is good work, but lovies, I'd lost my confidence. That is, until a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit propelled me down Short Street. I feel like it's my birthday. I am reborn, and renewed.
I am grateful.
This prayer/hymn was in my inbox on Friday, and I want to share it with you. Enjoy!
Come, thou Holy Spirit come:
and from thy celestial home
send thy light and brilliancy.
Come, thou father of the poor,
come who givest all our store.
What is filthy make thou pure,
what is wounded work its cure,
water what is parched and dry.
Gently bend the stubborn will,
warm to life the heart that's chill,
guide who goeth erringly.
Fill thy faithful who adore,
and confess thee evermore,
with thy sevenfold mystery.
Here thy grace and virtue send,
grant salvation in the end, and in heaven felicity. Amen
- From a 13th century Latin Hymn