Just over fifty words, the Suscipe is brief. But by moving me to complete three major actions — letting go, giving thanks, and asking for help — it transforms my mindset and softens my heart with each recitation.
We make hundreds of yes or no decisions daily, even if just to ourselves — no, I won’t stay in bed even though I kind of want to; yes, I’ll invite a new neighbor over for coffee — and good reasons for both our yeses and our nos can lead to wholeness and holiness. But looking back on my life, I see that a few yeses, which, like Mary’s, came in the face of uncertainty and even bafflement, have led to a life that I love.
As St. Augustine once explained, a Sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. I may not think that Confession is a necessary prerequisite to receiving God’s forgiveness, but I do experience God’s grace through the Sacrament.
Intergenerational friendships, which allow us to learn from people who have experienced more of life than us, and others who are seeing the world with fresh eyes, make life richer for all parties involved. Taking time to engage in activities, practices and conversations that promote the sharing of wisdom across ages benefits our individual lives, our communities and our world.
Learning about and praying numerous variations of Lectio Divina during a two-week period that I spent at a Benedictine monastery opened the doorway for a major turn in my prayer life.
Sending sympathy notes is more than the polite, kind thing to do. It’s a way of upholding a particular instruction of our faith: Comfort the mourning.
When spoken with sincerity, “Amen” is more than a perfunctory sign-off from prayer: It’s an affirming statement of faith and an openness to the transformation that faith can have on our lives.