Monday, July 14, 2008

The Quotidian Mysteries

The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work" by Kathleen Norris
Read: 7/4/08-7/14/08
LibraryThing tags: Theology, Benedictine, Spiritual Disciplines, Life Management

I was already intrigued by this book, which I'd seen at work, and then it was recommended in another book I read and liked, Receiving the Day, reviewed here. It's a quiet, rambling sort of book, good for meditating on. It doesn't go directly to any point, but is full of good thoughts. It talks about the precious value of the everyday, while at the same time very much acknowledging the many frustrations of the everyday. Reading it made me want to read another one of her books, The Cloister Walk. It confirmed my musings on the spiritual value of our mortality, our neediness. And on FlyLady!

“The Christian religion asks us to place our trust not in ideas, and certainly not in ideologies, but in a God who was vulnerable enough to become human and die, and who desires to be present to us in our everyday circumstances. And because we are human, it is in the realm of the daily and the mundane that we must find our way to God.”

“Ironically, it seems that it is by the means of seemingly perfunctory daily rituals and routines that we enhance the personal relationships that nourish and sustain us. I read recently, in Martin Marty’s newsletter, ‘Context,’ of a study that monitored the habits of married couples in order to determine what made for good marriages. The researchers found that only one activity seemed to make a consistent difference, in terms of the ability to maintain a stable, happy, long-lasting relationship, and that was simple affection, the embracing or kissing of one’s spouse at the beginning and the end of each workday.

Most significantly, as Paul Bosch, the author of the article reports, ‘it didn’t seem to matter whether or not in that moment the partners were fully “engaged” or even sincere! Just a perfunctory peck on the cheek seemed to be enough—enough to make a difference in the quality of the relationship!’ Bosch comments, wisely, that this ‘should not surprise churchgoers. Whatever you do repeatedly,’ he writes, ‘has the power to shape you, has the power to make you over into a different person—even if you’re not totally “engaged” in every minute!’”

No comments :