Friday, September 17, 2010

Taking Time for Contemplation

It’s been a very full year, and I’ve been looking forward to this vacation. Long sleeps, long (gentle…) walks, long books, long loving looks from two doggies (until they’ve gobbled down the meals their feeder - me – provides), and long periods each morning for contemplation and prayer. How lucky can a person be?

What have I been up to for the past year? Well, primarily a residency as a hospital chaplain. In the midst of that daily grind, however, I broke my ankle! It quickly got me signed up for a practicum in “observing health care” from the bed rather than from the bedside! When I was able to return to the residency it was with some added wisdom I had picked up along the way. There were many lessons in being patient and kind. I learned not to insist on my own way, and that it didn’t help to be irritable or resentful. I needed to find those things that helped me rejoice in the truth (and there were many). More than anything I learned that I needed to bear all things, to believe, to hope, and to endure all things - because even these will pass away. Hmm. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?! (This isn’t plagiarism, is it St. Paul?)

It was an amazing year – and this is an amazing retreat/vacation. Another amazing thing I learned: there are many moments each day for taking time! It’s an accessible contemplative discipline, and learning it simply takes practice.

Sr. Ruth Poochigian, O.P.

Madison, WI

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