Tuesday, June 22, 2021

That which cannot be sustained


As I mentioned yesterday, I am re-reading The Scent of Water.  I read it first when I was 19, just 19 a month or so and it was one of the biggest gifts I had received.   I talked about it for weeks.  It was like CS Lewis to Phantastes.   I read it again on New Years Day sitting on my old gold arm chair that was my Dad's and that I no longer have.   In my large kitchen and I read it and was quiet.  And it restored me.  I read it again since I moved to New Jersey, but this now 4th or so read of it is again restoring me.  I was living at too high pitch and I do that sometimes without realizing it.  Often when I am dealing with loss that I don't know how to deal with exactly.  (Speaking of loss, when I saw my friend to say goodbye she said she was returning but maybe not fully returning, in other words she had no idea her future.  That was hard in that my head was spinning.  Yours would be too if you were me).  The thing is that there is no easy way forward.  I hope to have a friend over in July.  And see other friends.  I am seeing that I have indeed to be more balanced.  I need to cook and bake a little more.  I need to ease up my unrealistic timeline of work.  And I want my work to have peace in it which means I have to be more balanced.  Last week when I had such an awful cold things got flipped around, I was unable to sleep at night and everything got unbalanced within me.   

My friend sent me this quotation this morning:

Your constant care should be not to let your heart become agitated or troubled, but to use every effort to keep it peaceful and calm. Seeing your efforts and endeavours, God will send you His grace and will make your soul a city of peace.  ~ from the book unseen warfare 

I found the rest, it's as follows (I am adding emphasizes to parts):

Then your heart will become the house of comfort as is allegorically expressed in the following Psalm: ‘Jerusalem is builded as a city’ (Ps. cxxii. 3). God has required only one thing from you, that every time you are disturbed by something, you should immediately restore peace in yourself, and should thus remain undisturbed in all your actions and occupations. You must know that this requires patience; for just as a city is not built in a day, you cannot expect to gain inner peace in a day. For gaining inner peace means building a house for the God of peace and a tabernacle for the Almighty, and in this way becoming a temple of God. You must also know that it is God Himself Who builds this house in you, and without Him all your labour will be in vain, as it is written: ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it’ (Ps. cxxvii. 1). You must know too that the main foundation of this peace of heart is humility and avoidance of actions, works and occupations which bring worry and care. As regards the first – who does not know that humility, peace of heart and meekness are so closely related that where one is, the other is too. A man whose heart is at peace and who is meek is also humble, and a man who is humble in heart, is also meek and at peace. This is why our Lord joined them indissolubly together, saying: ‘Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart’ (Matt. xi. 29). As regards the second, we see its prototype in the Old Testament, namely, in the fact that God wished His house to be built not by David, who spent almost all his life in wars and tribulations, but by his son Solomon, who, by his name, was a peaceful king and fought no one.

Source: Unseen Warfare as edited by Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain and revised by Theophan the Recluse, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press.
Beautiful quotation! A life time to learn to do this of course... 
Well.  It's nighttime now.  I finished my re-read of The Scent of Water, it's such a good book!
I've had some more insomnia 
and sure hope that tonight will be better.
I read a bit of my writing project to my Husband tonight and he thought it was good.
I was encouraged and happy!
I made my favourite beef stroganoff and rescue biscuits. 
This must be one of my favourite meals at present.
I hope you are well and that God is helping you through whatever it is
that you are needing help with.
God bless and keep you!


karen said...

I need to read this author, I remember you mentioning her before. My reading is scant with all the packing but after all the unpacking and when a sense of normalcy returns I cannot wait to get lost in a book.

Granny Marigold said...

A lifetime to learn to do this. So true.
It's good to know you're doing better.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Ah yes, The Scent of Water, and Unseen Warfare . . . two excellent resources to help us regain balance and peace. A life-long project indeed! I am glad you are finding some peace and restoration. Life is just messy, there's no escaping it, and it's so very, very easy to become unsettled and anxious about many things (I'm remembering Martha) and lose our focus on what is the best portion, sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing and listening, "asking, knocking and seeking" and then "doing" from a place of peace. I just read today's post by Fr. Stephen Freeman where this asking, knocking, seeking are mentioned and that we sometimes fail to understand these are states of the heart that must be nurtured into a way of life. (I am talking to myself here as much as to you, please forgive me! I'm needing to find balance too right now.) Be well! And may God bless and help us both to nurture our states of heart through His grace into a way of life fully dependent on Him and resting in His peace.

Gretchen Joanna said...

Thank you for the good reminders. Yesterday I listened to a podcast which reminded me of a related exhortation: Be sober, be vigilant... I was blessed by the echo of it all day!