Sorry for the little sabbatical from posting here. I’m always humbled when people say they read my writing and miss it when it’s gone. A couple of things happened. First, Brother Lawrence’s reflections stopped inspiring me. Many refer to The Practice of the Presence of God as one of the great spiritual classics, and I believe that’s true. I just stopped having things to say about it. It’s not you, Lawrence; it’s me. I’d open up his book, and my mind gave me nothing to say. Rather than trying to take something out of nothing, I decided to set The Practice of the Presence of God aside.
The other thing is I’m just not sure, yet, how to do spiritual writing in the age of Donald Trump. Most who know me know I’m less and less inspired by the us-against-them mentality of politics. The people I love include folks all across the political spectrum, and over the last few years I tended other gardens than the my-team-will-beat-your-team work of politics. I cared about issues, I’d vote, and I’d write my representatives on issues significant to me, but I was less inspired by the political game.
Living in the time of President Trump, though, is different. In writing about The Rule of St. Benedict I found so much wisdom in its teachings on hospitality, listening, humility, and silence. It’s hard to ignore when the most visible person on the planet doesn’t seem to value any of those things. I’m not trying to pick a political fight here; it’s just I think I need to relearn how to talk about some of these things now that the conversation around me is so different.
I haven’t given up, though, so don’t give up on me and my writing. This blog began in the summer of 2014, when I was on sabbatical. During that trip I found a rock on the Isle of Iona. One of the goals that emerged from that time was I knew I wanted to give more time to writing. The rock I took with me, which now sits on my desk, has lines on it, and the lines remind me of the lines of a blank page, ready to receive words. I keep that rock on my desk as a little reminder to keep writing. So, give me a little more time and I'll fill some of the blank lines here with words.
"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict