Letters from Antioch, Learning to see


Salvador asked us, “Try sitting in a room sometime and doing nothing. You will hear noises that you did not notice before. This is because you now have time to hear them. The landscaping that professionals spent thousands of dollars installing along the side of the road are a thing of beauty to those who have time to enjoy them. They are a nuisance to those who are in a rush. Do not be in a rush and miss the fragrance and the beauty of the landscaping.”

Academics is great, but how does it apply to the outside world?

He gave this command, “Do not be like the theology students who miss the beggar on the street corner in the name of preparing their homily on the Good Samaritan or the rich man and Lazarus. The man found along the side of the road and Lazarus are in your parish and they are on the street corners of your town, wherever your town is. Look for them.”

Never let the following poem be said about you, “I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger. Thank you. I was in prison and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release. Nice. I was naked and in your mind, you debated the morality of my appearance. What good did that do? I was sick and you knelt and thanked the Mighty Savior for your health. I needed you.

Do we see this woman, or do we see a lifestyle?

Salvador commanded, “Never have people speak of you saying, “I was homeless. You preached to me of the shelter of the Mighty Savior. I wish you had taken me home. I was lonely and you left me alone so you could pray for me. Why didn’t you stay? You seem so devout, so close to the Mighty Savior; But I am still very hungry, lonely, cold, and still in pain. Does it matter?”

As Salvador and his group continued in their travels, they entered a village where a women, May Dee Princess welcomed him. She had a sister named Princess Amy who sat at Salvador’s feet listening to him speak. May Dee Princess, burdened with much serving, came to him, “Professor, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

Salvador replied, “May Princess, May Princess, you are anxious and worried about many things. You feel that you are a princess carrying the burden of much authority and responsibility for getting things done, your way. I hear you as you say your rosary in the morning, when you have time to say it. It is rushed and without thought. Your cooking is good, but it always tastes the same. You are very diligent in following your recipes. Your home always looks the same. Would it hurt to move the sofa to the other side of the room, just to be different?

Princess Amy is my princess. She lets the Mighty Savior and I, be in control. No one put you in charge. You assumed the role. You do not see yourself as special, as a princess. Princess Amy does see herself as special, even if the establishment people in the world do not. Princess Amy says her rosary every morning and her novena of 18 benedictions as well.

May Princess and Princess Amy Identical on the outside does not mean identical on the inside.

Never has Pop heard her say the prayers twice, the same way. Every meal she cooks is different. She uses the spice that changes its flavor every day. It is the spice of the Whittling Breath. Your life is that of the Protestant work ethic. When you say the rosary, it has to be 5 decades. You rush through them so you can get on with the next task.

Her life is that of natural rhythms. Unlike you, in the spring, she notices that the days just seem to get longer, by a minute or two each day. In the fall, she notices that they get shorter. Unlike you, she can tell you what phase the moon is in.

She may not be able to name the constellations in the sky, but she follows them nightly. She has seen the great line in the sky that separates night from twilight, not because she was rushing to work at that time, but because she took time to notice it. Her day starts with prayers.

Sometimes she gets five decades in, sometimes one. She continues that with contemplation of Pop, his world and her place in it. She sprinkles it with physical labor. With her, I can never walk into the same house twice. There is always something different. With her, it is not idly moving everything around, however.

True prayer is measured by how much you put into itand,how much it puts into you!

Her home and her meals are a reflection of herself. She changes little by little and day by day. Why should her home always look the same? She talks to the finches and the flowers. She realizes that they speak only finch and flower, while she speaks only English, but she talks to them anyway. You call this folly.

As Tiny says, “The folly of the Mighty Savior is greater than the wisdom of men. There is need of only one thing, feeling the rhythm of life. Princess Amy has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

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