Friday, November 19, 2010

Writing Lessons

I'm more than halfway through this month of daily posting, and I'm noticing some valuable lessons. For one, I realize that sometimes I need to speak in order to be silent. Sometimes I simply cannot be at peace if I have something bubbling around in me and I don't say it, or write it. I have a tendency to struggle against my desire to speak until it does me violence. So, writing has a bit of a salvific edge to it for me. St. Vincent de Paul said that it is in silence that God communicates His graces to us. Expressing myself is vital to my ability to be silent and continue to receive God's grace. Trying to living without grace is like trying to live without breathing. But expressing myself, well at least, always feels like a death to me. It is perfectly fitting! To live the risen life, I must die with Christ.

So, I also realize that it is work to express my thoughts. I was really struck by something said at the Mass I attended last night, about this thing of God desiring us to be transparent vessels of His love to others. I think that one thing I have struggled with quite a bit all my life is this paradox that I am both very reserved and very open. I might not say anything to you, but if I will tell you anything, I'll tell you everything. This is a big struggle for me in many ways. But it gave me peace to consider last night that transparency is something that God wills. It is work, though, to choose words, to consider what should be said and left unsaid, and finally to simply open my heart and give and not worry about whether some will find me unpalatable or whether I may expose my own silliness, or my jugular, so to speak. They will, and I will, but if I speak because I can't figure out any other way to live my relationship with God, I trust He will take care of correcting and protecting me as needed.

The silence of Advent approaches. I hope this November writing exercise might push me beyond my sort of writing comfort zone into a place where I am really emptying myself, allowing new room for the silence of Mary and Joseph to fill me, and for the light of the glory of God to truly burst out again before my eyes.

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