March 21 – Holy Week 2016

March 21-  “some momentary awareness comes  .  .  .  .  As an unexpected visitor.”

For people who live the Catholic faith tradition, Holy Week can take a lot of living up to.  Such depths of intimate closeness, in Jesus human and divine, to the violence and loss that works in the world week after week, all year long, but, in this week, held up to invite close attention.  I incline to treat the impulse for “living up to” this week as a distraction.  Better, perhaps, to let the texts and music of these seven days knock on the door of my awareness now and then, surprising me in the middle of plans and deadlines and the joys of kinship that make up a lot of daily life.  And remind me that beneath the ordinary live great depths that open me to stark and delicate graces.

Rumi’s poem, “The Guest House,” explores this mystery of living a reality both ordinary and vast.    Best to read the poem out loud.  From a person still growing in this faith tradition, still learning to allow what runs deep to mingle with what hustles along on ordinary daily paths . . .  have a blest week.


john sj

Today’s Post:   “The Guest House”

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī  (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی‎)
Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic 1207-1273

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