When I stop running from my life, I can return to living it, willing to be present again, in the present moment. But this means embracing those routine and repetitive activities that I tend to scorn. – Norris


More certainly than ever he now believed. He reaccepted what they offered; he reaccepted them, knowing from of old that this, which seems so simple. is one of the hardest tasks laid before mankind. Hard, for the reality is so evasive; self-consciousness, egotism, heaviness, solemnity, carelessness, even an over-personal fondness, continually miss it. He could do nothing but indicate to that fleeting truth his willingness to be at its service…. He loved; yet not he, but Love living in him. -Charles Williams



Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of “Spiritus Mundi”
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

– William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”, 1921


However it happens, the process is always obscure; one does not recognize what is going on. It usually feels as if there is something wrong: laziness, lassitude, depression, or some other spiritual or psychological problem. The truth is seldom even considered: that the feelings of aridity and emptiness are the birth pains of a freer life and deeper prayer. When the first glimmerings of contemplation are born, they are so dark and delicate that a person is likely to overlook them altogether. The beginning of comtemplation, John says, is “secret and hidden from the very person who experience it … It is like air, which escapes if one tries to grasp it in one’s hands.” -May

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