|Light and Darkness at the Jesuit Center|
In my last reflection I mentioned going to the library. Buechner was mostly read and in the midst of the essays was an essay about Flanner O'Connor. I could have used the classic card catalogue by myself but the rare sighting of the librarian and the aloe plant on her desk inspired me to be guided to a book. OK I was desperate for a brief conversation. And a few moments later I was headed back to my room with her collected stories.
My friend Michelle had thought playing with psalms was the way to go, so I read a psalm a day while on retreat. 21, 42, then 63 led the way. In each case we start with an author who is praising his Lord, but at the end the author was overwhelmed by hatred and asked God to smash some enemies.
While in the O'Connor stories I was randomly chosing (by titles, not by counting by 21's), I kept being introduced to these main characters who seemed likable, especially in their own mind. But they all seemed done in by hatred. The hate was directed in many a direction but it emerged from the otherwise nice characters.
Today a friend needed a favor. As we drove together I began to rant about something that had emerged at work that day. I apologized for ranting. Later I realized I had not followed rule 12 of 21 very well. So now I work on that forgiveness thing.
My local library had the stories and tonight I met another one of those characters done in by hatred.
Here is to celebrating God minus the rants.