This is what I’ve found.
This week’s Gospel Luke 1:68-79 The Message
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he came and set his people free.
He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives,
and in the very house of David his servant,
Just as he promised long ago
through the preaching of his holy prophets:
Deliverance from our enemies
and every hateful hand;
Mercy to our fathers,
as he remembers to do what he said he’d do,
What he swore to our father Abraham—
a clean rescue from the enemy camp,
So we can worship him without a care in the world,
made holy before him as long as we live.
And you, my child, “Prophet of the Highest,”
will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways,
Present the offer of salvation to his people,
the forgiveness of their sins.
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.
Wisdom is bright and does not grow dim . . . and is found by those who look for her. — Wisdom 6:13
Wisdom is not the gathering of more facts and information, as if that would eventually coalesce into truth. Wisdom is a new, different way of seeing and knowing the “ten thousand things”. I suggest that wisdom is precisely the freedom to be truly present to what is right in front of you. Presence is wisdom! People who are fully present know how to see fully, rightly, and truthfully.
Presence is the one thing necessary for wisdom, and in many ways, it is the hardest thing of all. Just try to keep (1) your heart space open, (2) your mind without division or resistance, and (3) your body not somewhere else—and all at the same time! Most religions just decided it was easier to believe doctrines and obey often arbitrary laws than the truly converting work of being present. Those who can be present will know what they need to know, and in a wisdom way.
On Being Called to Prayer
While Cooking Dinner for Forty
When the heavens and the earth
are snapped away like a painted shade,
and every creature called to account,
please forgive me my head
full of chickpeas, garlic, and parsley.
I am in love with the lemon
on the counter, and the warmth
of my brother’s shoulder distracted me
when we stood to pray.
The imam took us over
for the first prostration,
but I kept one ear cocked
for the cry of the kitchen timer,
thrilled to realize today’s cornbread
could become tomorrow’s stuffing.
This thrift may buy me ten warm minutes
in bed tomorrow, before the singer
climbs the minaret in the dark,
to wake me to the work
of thought, word, deed.
I have so little time to finish (only I
know how to turn the dish, so the first taste
makes my brother’s eyes open wide) —
forgive me, this pleasure
seems more urgent than the prayer —
I take refuge in You
from the inextricable mischief
of every thing You made,
eggs, milk, cinnamon, kisses, sleep.
~ Patrick Donnelly ~