Thursday, August 5

soul percher

"hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul"
-emily dickinson

so it's only been a month and then some since i committed to a summer reading list. and i finally finished it! um, book number one that is. what? i do have other things going on ya know! ...sometimes. anyway, enough of this painfully un-comedic inner monologue. dialogue. um...

i just finished acedia and me by kathleen norris. while i won't write a lengthy book review, i do want to acknowledge that i learned a lot from this book. i identified a great deal with the concept of acedia and saw ways my life has been affected by it, but also found hope in methods and practices i can implore to overcome it. i'm finding myself drawn to books lately that help me to take a closer look at myself, the bad and the good, and i try to have faith that in reading them i will digest enough information to see change.

there is one passage near the end of the book that i found particular hope in:

when "one is completely listless, tepid, and unhappy, and feels separated from our Creator and Lord," he writes in his [Saint Ignatius Loyola] Spiritual Exercises,"one should never make a change." Ignatius recommends patience, and also urges the despondent person to a fresh perspective. "Desolation is meant to give us a true recognition and understanding," he states, "that we may perceive interiorly that we cannot by ourselves bring on . . . great devotion, intense love, tears, or any other spiritual consolation, but that all these are a gift and grace from God."
reading that along with this on the same day brought to my heart a sense of hope and encouragement i was lacking. i've been in my own sort of dark ages for quite some time now and have succumbed several times to resigning that things will never change. the one-two punch of this fresh perspective has helped me to understand specific ways in which my struggles might produce great character in me. whether or not these things are right will not matter in the end though, i imagine. after all, the wish isn't what sustains us; it's Hope that does.

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