Lately, I’ve been feeling disconnected from peace. This has resulted, as it usually does, in anxious thoughts, impulsive decisions and wanting stuff – pretty, fancy, better stuff.
I’m not always quick about awakening to the source of my self-inflicted restlessness. I tend to wallow for awhile in a state of confused agitation before it dawns on me that, oh yeah, I’ve stopped praying and fasting and revolving my life around the Rock that is the Church.
This morning I woke up early (earlier than usual, that is) to savor a bit of silence and reflection before starting my day. About nine and a half seconds after I tiptoed into the kitchen, I heard footsteps on the stairs. “Hello?” came a little voice.
“I’m by the fire place,” I called out to my seven-year-old, who has always been impressively skilled at sniffing out my (attempted) stolen moments of solitude. “Is it daytime or nighttime?” she asked while crawling into my lap.
“Daytime, ” I told her, “But just barely.”
“Will you look at a book with me?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said, “Please bring me one about a saint.” I was longing for access to something holy.
She chose St. Seraphim’s Beatitudes by Priest Daniel Marshall.
St. Seraphim was born in 1759 in the town of Kursk, Russia, I began.
“Did you know him?” my daughter interrupted.
“You mean, like personally?” I asked.
“Yeah, when you were a little girl. Wasn’t that the same year you were born?”
Pilgrims flocked to St. Seraphim for prayers and advice. “I implore you to acquire a peaceful spirit,” he said, “and thousands of souls around you will be saved.”
- From St. Seraphim’s Beatitudes
Mary and I spent a sweet, and convicting, twenty minutes with St. Seraphim. Just a sip of his great faith was enough to drive me to repentance. I’ve been guilty of cautiousness and wishy-washy-ness and trying to lean on my own understanding.
Holy St. Seraphim, pray to God for me!
I Arise Today
by John O’Donohue
I arise today
Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.
May I live this day.