Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

Just as I posted the article about Mercury Retrograde, I received this message from Sister Joan Chittister. It is a great follow up.

I have taken the editorial liberty of changing all the “Gods” to God/dess.

What Do You Have Time For?
by Joan Chittister
 
One of the obsessive concerns of contemporary society is speed. Everything we produce we produce to go faster than the ones before it. Planes go faster than the speed of sound, though no one cares. Computer upgrades costing hundreds of dollars are downloaded every day to take milliseconds off the operating speeds of the versions before them. To be valuable now, everything must go faster, start up more quickly, work at speeds measured in numbers no mind can calculate. We want instant oatmeal, electronic ticketing, accelerated educational programs, weekend college courses and world news in thirty seconds or less. We are “a people on the move.” We want results. We are not a people who believe in process anymore, much as we love to talk about it.

But the spiritual life does not operate in high gear at high speed. The spiritual life is a slow, slow uncovering of the mechanics of the soul and the even slower process of putting it all back together again, of coming to see what we never saw before–God/dess everywhere and, most of all, in us. Ironically enough, in our haste, our generation has lost a sense of the value of time. Speed has not saved us time. It has simply enabled us to fill it with twice as much work as we used to do. The faster we go, the more we leave ourselves behind. We do not stop for sunsets anymore. We take pictures of them, instead, and then never take time to look at the pictures again.

But there are some things that cannot be hurried. We cannot hurry the process of grief, for instance. We cannot rush the project of growth. We cannot speed the effects of hurt. We cannot hasten the coming of love. We must not attempt to flit through the search for God/dess and then, failing in the enterprise of a lifetime, call it fruitless. Each of those things comes in stages. Each of them takes soul-work.

Time, the contemplative knows, is given not for the sake of perfection but for the sake of discovery. There is a great deal to be discovered in life before we are finally able to break ourselves open to the God/dess within and around us out of whom all life flows. …

To be a contemplative we must begin to see time, not as a commodity, but as a sacrament revealing God/dess to us in the here and now. Always.

– From Illuminated Life (Orbis)

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The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

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