Friday, March 4, 2011


We need space, our own private space, the place of solitude where we can really be in touch with our deepest being. If we do not have this, if our space is taken away or violated, if we are under too much pressure, or overwhelmed with things to do, then we risk falling into confusion. We can no longer really welcome people to come close to us. We are unable to understand and love them. We are forced to defend and protect ourselves, because the pressure is too great. If the waters of our hearts are to run freely, and if we are to remain fully open to life, we must have that inner and outer space where we can find peace and rest.

- Jean Vanier, Our Journey Home, p. 155
Once again, Jean Vanier's words in my inbox are running parallel to my moodlings for the day. Today's scripture reading is the story of Jesus driving the moneychangers out of the temple. It's easy to imagine him angry at the sellers' exploitation of the buyers on their way to offer sacrifices... but today, I am imagining him upset because of the temple's noise, pressure, confusion and lack of space for thought, prayer and meditation. It's not my customary way of attending to this reading.

Jean and Jesus are both pointing the way to something essential. We need to make space in our lives so we can hear our own hearts and souls above the advertising, noise, activity, and confusion with which our consumer culture and workaday world surround us. We need the peace and rest of personal space wherever we find it. These days, my husband, who has never been as much of a churchgoer as I have, depends upon our Sunday routine more than I do. Church is his "space," where he can be, and think, and sort himself out at the end of the work week; his place of escape from the moneychangers.

And there are other "spaces," too. My girls have no school today, so I'm hoping that we can go to our local conservatory and enjoy the lush quietness of a place where it's always warm and things are growing, a space away from winter. I'll post pictures when we get back. In the meantime, see if you can find a little space for your heart and soul today.

I really should get an annual pass to this place!

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