The Anchoress is having an on-line retreat. Who else could have thought of this? It started yesterday, and at first in my selfish way, I wasn’t going to share. The first meditation is one of my favorites – Listen – and I knew I couldn’t keep her to myself. Be sure to check her post often – the retreat runs all week – for the updates.
In all the noise of the never-ending campaign and
news journalistic opinion cycles, you lose your grip on reflection. Inner reflection gets pushed out the yammering external. Home, which used to be a family’s oasis from the outer world, is anything but restful now. Work sucks up more bandwidth than ever. School is grating in its inability to function as an educational facility instead of a money pit. Don’t even get me started on soccer or College Girl’s plate of must-attend-events-now-that-she-is-a-senior. Even church is more demanding. Do this – be here by this – wear this – go here – say this – pay this. Do! Do! Do!. What ever happened to the quiet reflection? Quiet prayer? Quiet study? Just a little quiet, period?
There are many blogs for any iteration of anything you want. Humor, geeks, StarWars, strange dark things, tattoos, gardening, history, airplanes, ships, all flavors of religion, antique photographs, science, politics, music, literature, stuff for sale, even a couple of pretty good shrinks – anything and everything you could ever dream of. That’s why every day is a new day with someone new out in the blogosphere blathering on about their favorite things.
But there is only One Anchoress.
Somehow, she is one of the very first blogs I read, when I ventured out with the question, “What are these blog thingys, anyway?” It had to be Divine Providence – God knew exactly what I needed and stuck right in front of my face. I was hooked from the very first post. I don’t remember which one, but I do remember she mentioned “This House of Brede.” In a million years, and out of a billion blogs, how could I have found the one blog that wrote about that book on that day?
I read “This House of Brede” during high school. Before the movie was made in the late ’70’s with Diana Rigg. My mom gave it to me; probably from her friend V, who was a copious reader and obviously to boost my reading skills. Being raised Protestant, I didn’t understand a lot of the ritual stuff, but I adored the book. This fictional abbey grabbed my heart and never let go. In all the years since, I’ve gravitated toward reading about nuns and convents and cloisters. Women of faith and their walk with God. Something about the PEACE they radiate makes you curious. “Silly girl,” I would be told, “you can’t be a nun. You’re Methodist.” I would think, surely there are Methodist nuns somewhere. And don’t forget, Phillipa converted.
Funny, too, how the nuns whispered of the “stone disease.” I had always loved old churches and cathedrals rather than these new-fangled, inpersonal “multi-purpose worship facilities.” I have the “stone-disease,” too, in a big way.
After reading her for a while, I thought I could do this, too. And so this little blog was born. That makes her my Blog-Mother, for without her, I wouldn’t be here.
So I blogged along and one day she had a silly contest. And silly me, I won it – so she sent me a book. “Saints?”, the proper Baptist hubby sniffed. “Yeah, you should read it,” was the reply. Joseph was my favorite. How much do you know about Joseph? Jesus’s earthly dad; that’s pretty much all. But his hidden life is what speaks volumes of his influence. Again, a mere mortal doing God’s work on earth, quietly and without desire for attention.
For years, she was anonymous. Just this year, we learned her name.
I love retreats. I just never get to go. And if I ever do, I usually have to help with the running of the thing, since hubby probably planned it to begin with. She wrote of a retreat a few years ago where she had to share some retreat space with some jangly Baptist women. This post made me laugh so hard, the tears were rolling down my face. I know the type – and I know how she feels.
We are kindred spirits who have never met. Hopefully, one day we will.