Wednesday, February 03, 2016
My wife, Helen is in Florida this week visiting her sister and brother in law. My son and I are home, holding down the fort. Monday, Tuesday, no problem with dinner, he gets home before me and he doesn't mind cooking, but in fact my wife has left us with many options to choose from this week, some frozen, so all we have to do is thaw, heat and eat. Good for us men. At 61 and 30+ years of marriage I'm pretty much spoiled and pampered when it comes to doing domestic chores. I've forgotten how to cook, really, except to make the pasta and a salad. I did some laundry last night, but Odin (our son) had to give me a quick instruction on the washing machine; I've only used it a couple of times in 2 years. With all my aches and pains Helen and Odin have pretty much taken over many of the chores, jobs and responsibilities that they know I struggle with now. And heaven knows I appreciate it, even if I don't let them know enough, due to my bad communication skills when it comes to those things. But they understand and through all that they do I see they do it for love of me. They really don't mind, and I never ask them to do anything extra, the work just gets done. This does leave me with a bit more time, although I'm not retired yet, but more extra time at night and on the weekends, which I really don't know how to use wisely. A big problem is during the day I have energy, but I'm at work, work takes precedent and then at night, in the evening, after supper, I burn out pretty quickly, and most of my motivation is gone. Watching a movie with Helen or quiet time in the semi-darkness, before the crucified Christ is the best I can do. A few pages from a book, then silence. The silence though, ah, the silence is the most mysterious part of the day, a time when my beforehand expectations run high and then God gives me my lot in life, this ending to the day, after the Office, this time for recollection on the day I leave behind. I say leave behind but do we really ever leave the day behind, do we simply say, 'I did this, not so well, I offended here, and here, and here, but I'll try harder tomorrow' or do we struggle with the thoughts of darkness that is this examination of conscience. We are called to dwell on these 'sins of the day' because these are the acts with which we offend God. We can look at all the good things we did and accomplished on this day and God loves us for them, but this time of day, in the darkness, in the silence, is the time of the realization, the truth between me and myself, with our Lord standing by, watching. And even after many years of this quiet time, the examination is no easier, if anything I'm worse at it than before. It's a little like Confession; the older one gets, the harder it is, the more one learns, the more one tends to think perhaps too much... perhaps it is best to just let the silence take over, the silence who is the Holy Spirit, who is our guide here on earth. I think of these things now, in the middle of the day, and at times everything is crystal clear, my path through this day and into the night lays before me with no hindrance, no confusion. Tonight will be different. Prayers done, the house quiet, the silence will surround me and I will slowly ease into that darkness, my own self made darkness of the day, where my sins will, hopefully, prayerfully, be brought before me to examine again.