Sunday, October 6, 2013

Messengers To Us From the Hallows

hydrangeas from friends
"Somehow we have gotten swept into a millrace, and it's nonstop flailing and thrashing just to keep ourselves from drowning.  The sheer necessities of modern life sweep us farther and farther from any sense that it is all hallowed, really. What are we to do?

There are various things we could do no doubt.  We could resign ourselves to the millrace and abandon any thought of anything but the flailing.  Or we could take some drastic step like moving to a farm in Vermont or an island in the Aegean, hoping thereby to find some peace and quiet where we would be able to recollect ourselves and do things right.  A third possibility would be to accept the fact that life comes tumbling at us nowadays but that it is nonetheless possible for us to see our ordinary daily routines as proceeding among the hallows, so to speak; and by stirring up in our minds the things that we vaguely acknowledge anyway, to begin to hallow those routines by doing once more what men have always done with things to hallow them; namely, offering them up in oblation to God, as literally as Abel offered up sacrifices from his ordinary routine of work.

I would like to suggest that at least one place (among others) which may be hallowed anew as the place where the celebration of all the mysteries may occur, and where all of life may be offered up in oblation to the Most High, is the family household.  Within these four walls, under this roof, the lamps are lighted.  The offering is here, the vigil is here, the feast is here, the faithful are here.  All the eating and drinking, and the working and playing, and the discipline and serving and loving that go on here - they are all holy.  For these common routines of ordinary life are not only necessities and functions:  they are also messengers to us from the hallows.  Nay, more than messengers, they are those hallows, set hourly before us in visible, touchable, light-of-day forms."

from Hallowed Be This House by Thomas Howard, quoted in Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson Sr. and Michael W. Benson
a backyard bouquet from Ben

10 comments:

Eva Girl said...

Perfect - inspirational - thanks for posting!

Reinventing Mother said...

Amen!

Lisa said...

How important it is to not be sidetracked into forgetting this!

sara said...

Another lesson that is being hammered home to me. Funny how that happens. Yes, the profound is made of mundane. The little moments add up to life. Looking back we'll see that these were the best days.

I like the quote very much. Maybe I'll put this on my TBR list. I think I'll also reread Brother Laurence.

Rebecca said...

What section is this in in Benson and Benson? Beautiful!

Margo said...

Rebecca, I don't know exactly - I copied the quote a while ago. I'll check!

jenny_o said...

A beautiful excerpt.

Margo said...

Rebecca, it's in the chapter Place (page 217 in my copy).

Polly said...

Yes!! I love this!

BLD in MT said...

This is fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing!

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