August 21 – “all this tripping about” Catherine McAuley

Thursday  August 21   “Enough”  David Whyte

Getting very busy around the university;  lots of fast walking and flipping from thought to thought and task to task.  Catherine McAuley, in a memorable saying from her over-busy life leading the fledgling Sisters of Mercy in an Ireland made brutal by the Industrial Revolution of British textiles and the Enclosure Movement which evicted  subsistence farmers from small plots to open broad spaces for sheep grazing, Dublin a city where wealth flourished in the center while its growing periphery packed in desperate poor driven off those small village plots.  She named her fast walking and flipping from task to task times “tripping about.”

“Amidst all this tripping about:  our hearts can always be in the same place
centered in God, for whom alone we go forward, or stay back.”
Catherine McAuley (December, 1840)


Catherine McAuley  1778 – 1841
Foundress:  Sisters of Mercy 1831   

             Lovely expression, “triping about.”   Better to trip about, I guess, than to just trip.  Better to hustle and scramble with a moment of breathing here and there in the day.  Here’s  a short poem to open a space for breathing on this 2nd last work day of the first week of the academic year.   I’ve posted it twice before; must like it, eh?

            Have a blest day.


john sj


Today’s Post


Enough. These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.


This opening to the life

we have refused

again and again

until now.

David Whyte, Where Many Rivers Meet


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