This being Human is a Guest House

September 12, 2015 | Monastic Musings

Reflections from some of the nuns

Lectio this morning was an invitation to consider the lilies that neither toil nor spin. Those lilies are not managers or achievers or worriers. They are not motivated by anxiety or fear. They are provided for in all their need and grow in splendour and beauty.

As my eyes move up to drink in the blue of the sky, I am aware that a loving creator cares for the needs of every thing: The air we breathe, the food we eat, the sun and the earth beneath our feet, and we move by the grace of gravity, and our senses feast on the abundant smorgasbord of colour and flavour and smell with which our world is imbued.

I am reminded that the womb in which I was gestated provided all my needs and I see with a glimmer of understanding that in each moment now, as then, my needs are intimately known and lovingly provided for. This has nothing to do with my expectations or judgements and has everything to do with acceptance that each moment, exactly as it is, provides perfectly for my needs in order that this soul will grow in splendour and beauty!

The practice of coming to stillness and breathing my reflection is a powerful way of connecting both with my deeper self and with the presence of Christ within me. In this connection lies the heart of acceptance.

Rumi so wonderfully explores this in his poem, This being human is a guest house.

This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor. 

Welcome and attend them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight. 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice
Meet them at the door laughing,
And invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Welcome difficulty.
Learn the alchemy True Human Beings know;
The moment you accept what troubles
You’ve been given, the door opens.

Welcome difficulty as a familiar
Comrade. Joke with torment
Brought by the Friend.

Sorrows are the rags of old clothes
And jackets that serve to cover,
And then are taken off.

That undressing
And the beautiful
Naked body

Is the sweetness
That comes
After grief.

Rani by the lake

Sr Magdalen Mather osb