I had made my Lenten resolutions. This year I am not giving anything up; I am adding. As well as my customary morning meditation I have added another of equal length late in the day, and where my timetable permits, also one at noon. I have also added a daily reading from one of my favourite books, Anthony De Mello's The Way to Love. This Lent I want to let the wind blow through me; as much of it as I can stand, so it's as well to build into my life some more opportunities to stand in the breeze.
This little pilgrimage, there and back along the beach; this little pilgrimage of 40 days, following the footsteps of my master towards the cross and resurrection, will be about attachment. Or rather, will be about releasing attachments. The Way to Love is, amongst other things, about attachment. It is a series of addresses recorded at a retreat, and, I would guess, transcribed pretty much verbatim long after De Mello's death. The small essays (about 3 1/2 pages each) are not very literate. But they are orate. I read them and I can catch the Indian accent and the oblique structure of a gifted storyteller. I read them and I can feel De Mello's gaze as he speaks unflinchingly to my heart, laying open truths so obvious I would have seen them years ago had not my own illusions and vanities prevented me.
Lord, Holy Spirit,
You blow like the wind in a thousand paddocks
Inside and outside the fences,
You blow where you wish to blow...
...Lord, Holy Spirit
in the love of friends you are building a new house,
Heaven is with us when you are with us.
You are singing your song in the hearts of the poor.
Guide us, wound us, heal us. Bring us to the Father
(James K Baxter)