The interesting thing about viewing our COVID-19 situations are the many lessons we can gain from this experience. Not all of these lessons are without some form of inconvenience or even outright suffering, but they are what is happening. I look at what is coming down the pike everyday and try not to overreact to the situation. My contemplative practices have helped me gain a small bit of perspective on the pandemic. There is more to it than just this one health crisis, although I don’t want to minimize the risks involved. Each day, I practice Lay Cistercian activities which direct my focus to giving glory and honor to the Father, through the Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. My Cistercian training (as I know it) has provided me with perspective and a daily way to “…have in me the mind of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). As of late, I have been trying to focus on seeking God every day wherever I am and as I am,
I don’t have any sure-fire ways to take away any situations that may arise in your life. What I can share with you are the two ways I have approached any situation that may come up in my day and how I measure it against my center (Philippians 2:5).
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Do you remember Disney’s movie, Alice in Wonderland? She finds herself lost in the forest and has several paths to follow, but which one should she take? Look at the YouTube clip from the movie to get a sense of the importance of both the question by Alice and the response by the Cheshire Cat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXpaBOsx4Gg I viewed this very clip and came up with these ideas. The Cheshire Cat says “Where do you want to go?”. Alice says, “It doesn’t matter where I go.” To which the Cheshire Cat responds, “then any direction will get you there.” This clip with a seemingly innocuous question and answer have provided me with insights about seeking God in daily living. Each day, I am like Alice, trying to create a schedule and reaching some object or activity out there. In this first approach, I don’t care what presents itself to me every day (COVID-19, my recent trip to the ER and Hospital to test me for a heart pacemaker, being 80 years of age and not being physically able to do my Cistercian practices with others at Good Shepherd Church, Tallahassee, Florida.
The direction I am headed is to have in me the mind of Christ Jesus every day. Silence and solitude become conditions for my heart to be still and abandon all selfish interests in prayer and just listen with the “ear of the heart.”