Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Do what you can for God, and God will do what you cannot do. And remember, the only thing is to give yourself completely, your weakness also."

Soren Kierkegaard

Today the sun is bright and cold, there is a trail of snow down the shingles of the house across the street and I am rejoicing because the rain is gone. In the cafe the windows are dripping condensation and everyone is drinking hot tea or coffee. I am trying to put my mind in order; I've let it fall into lazy disarray and it is never a happy or productive state for me to be in. I began by scrubbing the bathroom this morning, and continued by writing up a new budget sheet, complete with all new earnings, now I am writing with hot tea at my elbow and my mind is neater, if not yet completely together.

It's disturbing how quickly December is creeping up on us. I have trouble convincing myself that winter is almost upon us. This is a failing on my part, because it is difficult to convince myself to act on my 'to do' list when I don't believe, deep down that time is passing. Like Kierkegaard's speculative thinker I finish "a paper and mistake this for existence." It is a blessing then that God takes our weaknesses and uses them as well. He doesn't say 'Well, give me what good you've got and I'll leave the rest." rather He asks for everything, and when He has our weaknesses He transforms them. In Him they are strengths. So I am trying to do what I can for God, and He is slowly turning my weaknesses to His own purpose, reminding me to "live the questions now," to be truely alive in this age of eternal distraction.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Of what use would it be for me to be able to develope a theory of the state, getting details from various sources and combining them into a whole, and constructing a world I did not live in but merely held up for others to see;"

Soren Kierkegaard

On Fridays I am visited by two Jehovah's witnesses. We discuss a little book they put out call "What the Bible Really Teaches," and in an informal way, the Bible itself as well. We began today discussing the election, and politics in general; they do not vote, in any situation, they are waiting for God to come and govern them. Until He does they will notice all the flaws of government, avoid it, and watch it fail. I am frustrated by this position; I am always frustrated when people allow evil to occur because they are waiting for something better to come along.

It is a grey day today; the rain began last night as a steady dripping and continued, neither speeding nor slacking all day. I have poked my nose outside only twice and it is cold as well - November rain is dreary. But inside, in our little apartment, the day is cheerful; not bright but warm and cozy with shadows that pile in corners like down, keeping out the chill.

I discovered yesterday talking to Matka, that my aunts have decided to give me all the beautiful things in our family; they of course don't put it quite that way, but in going through some of our heirlooms, it seems all the beautiful dishes, the old treadle sewing machine, scarves and wood-bead rosaries are put aside for me. It is a blessing to know that my family thinks to pass such beautiful things on to me, I am very grateful.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"When it comes to doing what we know to be God' will, we do not dare say: I will not! So we say: I cannot. Is this any less rebellious? If it is God's will that you do it, how is it possible that you cannot?"

Soren Kierkegaard

I made bagels this morning. The dough I made last night in a four hour burst of activity that produced bagel dough, a poolish sponge for bread I've yet to make, apple crisp, and chicken dumpling soup. We are praying very hard this week for some things we desperately want, and it is easier to pray and work, than to sit and pray and let the mind wander into its uncertainties. Making bagels, and baking in general, are excellent distractions; it requires so much attention, and, even when the recipe is followed exactly, there is a certain amount of magic involved in a successful outcome. My bagels are now piled: hot, chewy, and beautiful on a plate in the kitchen, and I feel as thought I've called down the moon.

It is sometimes difficult to know God's will in a situation, particuarly when we overthink. I find that when I am working and praying, God's will is able to sneak into my mind and make itself at home before I have the chance to second-guess. I end up not so much deciding that this is God's will, but settling into it naturally.

It is hard though to pray for God's will on something we are passionate about, because their is the chance that God's will is not at all what our will is at the time, and then we do feel like saying: I cannot to God. I cannot accpet Your will, give me mine. How rebellious, how very like the devil we sound, and yet it's so easy to fall into, and to justify; I am a good Catholic, but I cannot accept the Churches teaching on....I've tried, but I cannot.

All the same, I am hopeful that my will is in line with God's will this week, our I will be baking often next week, to bake my way into understanding.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Now everything is lost, God demands Issac, I sacrifice him, and with him all my joy - yet God is love and for me continues to be so."
- Soren Kierkegaard

I awoke today and avoided the radio. I didn't answer the phone when it rang and I left quickly for the cafe; I didn't want to be alone when I heard the news of the election - already knowing what that news would be. Now I'm in a cafe full of people who voted for the man who won and I am still alone, but God is love and for me continues to be so.

I'm not at all surprised by the results. How long did we expect God to protect us from ourselves; we who butcher our own children each day and spend our lives chasing distractions. We who wanted desperately to elect the man without knowing him and ignored every warning sign as it appeared. We got exactly the leader we deserved and we will come to know him all too well I'm sure; yet God is love and for me continues to be so.

I am comforted by Saint Vladamir of Russia whose late conversion came after years of bloodshed and led his nation to Christ, to him I pray for the man we elected. I am comforted by Saint Augustine, who watched the greatest empire fall to pieces around him, to him I pray for our nation. I am comforted by the Mother of God, our dear Mateczka whose eyes do not close, to her I pray that we may be like Abraham, who was so able to follow God even in quickly changing directions and who never lost faith in the love of God.