Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Earlier tonight, around 4:30 p.m., I walked the Labyrinth. Bundled in a winter jacket, with the collar up around my ears, I set out. There was no "spiritual" intent in my mind. I really just wanted some fresh air.

After a few circuits, I began saying the "Jesus Prayer" in step with my breath and my pace. I breathed in "Jesus, Son of God" and breathed out "Have mercy on me, a sinner." Then the pattern stretched to breathing in "Jesus"; breathing out "Son of God"; breathing in "Have mercy on me"; breathing out "a sinner".

Just as I reached the center, I remember being thankful for my woolen gloves. It was 32 degrees F. Fortunately, there was no wind. So there was no wind chill factor to increase the chill to something unpleasant.

I sat for awhile on the center stump. I looked at St. Margaret’s building. A wintery sky with some white clouds were framed in the rings of the Celtic Cross on top of the Church. Around me were the dark skeletons of trees that recently lost all their leaves.

I told myself it was too early to pine for Spring; after all, it is not really even winter yet.
We are in the last weeks of autumn.
(Yes, there is an editorial bias in which seasons get capitalized.)

As I sat, I scanned to my right and to my left. I did not look behind me.
I offered some intercessions.

When I was ready, I stood up and walked out. It felt like the Labyrinth popped me out. Intellectually, I know it’s the same distance in and out. But, my experience is that going in often seems slower or longer or more deliberate.

So, I walked "The Emmaus Walk" and then walked up to Keystone Avenue where my car was parked. And I wondered what the result or benefit was for having done it.
A short drive home. I parked the car. Walked in my home and realized...
There was a hymn moving through my mind...

"What does the Lord require for praise and offering?
What sacrifice desire, or tribute bid you bring?
Do justly; love mercy; walk humbly with your God."
Hymn 605 based on Micah 6:8.

A gift. A boon. My earlier question was certainly answered.

Peace be with you.

P.S. Photo by Pam H.; taken during our Centennial Homecoming Celebration.