Find the Holy

I woke up early this morn­ing — a wet, gray, cloudy sum­mer morn­ing. I like rain. For me, rain is a cleans­ing of sorts — I feel bap­tized in a sense. Rain cleans the air, cleanses the streets, and clears the clouds that occupy the sky and some­times too often occupy my mind. After quickly dress­ing, I left the warm con­fines of my apart­ment and headed out­side to a small restau­rant and slid into a booth; ordered a glo­ri­ous pot of hot tea and a warm scone and read the daily paper. And I actu­ally READ the paper; not skimmed the head­lines which is my usual modus operandi hav­ing lit­tle time to absorb all the infor­ma­tion placed on the pages. A head­line quickly caught my eyes - “‘Holy’ moments sur­round us” by Dean Nel­son (USA TODAY).

My spir­i­tual life, is, to say the least, in tran­si­tion. Or rather in con­tem­pla­tionI’m a Bene­dic­tine oblate for a monastery. An oblate is one who forms a com­mit­ment to Bene­dic­tine spir­i­tu­al­ity that is given uncon­di­tion­ally from the heart, that needs to be cul­ti­vated in “good and bad” days. I admit to being much more dili­gent in my role (or respon­si­bil­ity) as an oblate years back, but in recent years have struggled.

There are seven ancient sacra­ments that orga­nized Chris­tian­ity has rec­og­nized for thou­sands of years: Bap­tism, Holy Orders, Con­fes­sion, Con­fir­ma­tion, Mar­riage, Extreme Unc­tion, and Eucharist. Grow­ing up Catholic, I have expe­ri­enced 5 of the 7. The point of Nelson’s arti­cle is that one doesn’t have to expe­ri­ence the sacra­ments in a church or in front of a priest (or clergy); but rather in those moments when we share our­selves with oth­ers. Nel­son asks “haven’t we all been part of con­ver­sa­tions where they some­how take on a deeper dimen­sion, even though it’s just two peo­ple talking?”.

For 5 years I went to a spir­i­tual direc­tor (a Bene­dic­tine nun) at the monastery. A lov­ing, gra­cious, knowl­edgable nun who reminds me of my pater­nal grand­mother; Sr. Mary awoke in me the spir­i­tual, the holy. Before I started spir­i­tual direc­tion I was an empty, lonely ves­sel. It’s often said that those going through spir­i­tual direc­tion should be pre­pared for your life to take a 360 degree turn. Mine did; rad­i­cally. My life did a com­plete turn­around. Rela­tion­ships changed, some died, some grew. I changed.

I no longer attend church or go to any reli­gious cel­e­bra­tions. I do pray every­day — and share my feel­ings and thoughts with those peo­ple clos­est in my life. These are my holy moments. I rel­ish the time I spend with fam­ily and friends shar­ing my feel­ings, lis­ten­ing to theirs. It never occurred to me that these are holy moments. Per­haps my spir­i­tual life is in tran­si­tion but is mov­ing towards what it was always meant to be — in the holy of now.

Writ­ten by Ms. Renee Vevea, always seek­ing, search­ing and learning.