Monday, April 14, 2008

being a sponge... more thoughts on Wernersville

I am telling my spiritual director about my time in the cemetery, and she feels I had a sponge moment.

Ignatius said that when we are with God, we are a sponge catching a drop of water. Other times we are a rock. She believes that what I experienced is the joy of the resurrected Christ, and even mentions the phrase, communion of saints. We talk more and then we offer to pray for each other, a deal sealed with a hug. 24 hours ago we had been strangers.

Mass is about to begin when a Jesuit sits down next to me. He was to lead the mass the day before, but is suffering from shingles. One of my favorite memories is this quiet man giving a homily as a boisterous group of women shouted out AMENS. Another Jesuit stepped in for him on Saturday and preached on how difficult it can be to feel the joy of Easter, especially if we expect the wrong response. I guess it can be more like the appreciation of hundreds of years of men choosing to be Jesuits than like a big rolling laugh emerging from one's gut.

wo hours after being told about sponges and rocks, I am once again told about sponges and rocks in the homily. As I leave the sanctuary, I am next to my director who agrees with me that God just may have wanted me to get the sponge message down before I left the retreat.

Joy came in many ways ... Before I headed to breakfast while the only blue sky on Sunday glowed outside my window, I turned on my I-Pod to find Ella Fitzgerald singing Blue Skies .

Later in mass, the Gloria was just a hoot to sing...

who out there is shocked I found joy in music?

OK, so there was also the woman from South Carolina, who says to me on Friday when we are yet to be silent... "I loved the pile of sticks you made in August... you are always here when I am here... what did you write on the path?".... IGGY WAS HERE

The white-breasted nuthatch that stopped by when I paused on a walk.

The tree that caught my attention as I sat looking down at the Jesuit cemetery.

Sunday night the last thing I hear before I fall asleep ... Mosaic woman says... "I am glad you are back home." and my stoic self melts into a sponge that soaks in that drop.


  1. I love the sponges and rocks viewpoint and also the music shared, Wayne. Your words lead me to point you to the 12th chapter of Isaiah. It's the shortest one in the book, speaks of God being in our midst, and gives to us an expression of bringing up joy from within us....

  2. ...drop by drop we grow...

    I chatted with the Jesuit you sat next to -- about blogging no less -- my description of you brought immediate recognition.

    the walks were glory and grace...

  3. Jim-- the chapter in Isiah was a great way to enter into prayer this evening.

    Michelle-- I am blown away that a woman I never met in person can describe me to a Jesuit I have never worked with, in fact I have yet to work with a Jesuit... maybe in June. I requested for it to happen.

  4. on blogs are good things, and Jesuits are attentive to detail!

  5. Sponges and rocks...a great way to view our interaction with God! Thanks for sharing the Gloria.

  6. Michelle-- common let me think it was mystical

    Kievas-- glad you liked the Gloria, truly was a hoot to sing


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