by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM February 13, 2022
Today is a rarity in my world: though I woke up at 4:30 am, I didn’t move. I simply savored the comfort of the flannel sheets and the utter stillness of the room. I also savored what my calendar revealed: no need to get myself moving immediately into the day, on to a cup of tea, on to a quick shower, on to a car in need of defrosting.
So I lingered in bed for a while, giving thanks for what is surely a life of acknowledged privilege: That I make my home in an environment that’s welcoming, safe, and nurturing of my creative spirit. That I belong to a community that inspires, challenges, and offers my life meaning. That I have friends and family who love and cherish me. That I’ve been granted expansive educational opportunities and profound life-changing experiences. That every day my spirituality ministry brings me into an arena where I get to witness the Holy at work in people’s lives.
I was in one of those arenas yesterday when I offered a retreat for our IHM Associates. I was moved by witnessing their joy in coming together, their hunger for spirituality, the depth of their own lives of prayer. And then, I was emotionally spent, with no thought of writing this blog. When I climbed into bed exhausted, I prayed for Spirit and for words.
This morning, it was my fuzzy, raggedy slippers that spoke to me. Over time, they’ve conformed themselves to the shape of my gnarled toes and bony feet. They feel like home. They feel like a blessing. And they reminded me of Julian Norwich’s comments about putting on God like a garment, because every morning when I slip my feet into them, I pray that the Holy One will walk with me into the day ahead. In My Soul in Silence Waits, Margaret Guenther stretched that image of God to “a favorite roomy sweater, a little baggy in just the right places, or maybe a soft old bathrobe.” St. Paul called it putting on the mind of Christ (Romans 13:14) like a piece of clothing. (But apparently Paul didn’t share my practice of lounging in bed because the Message Bible’s translation of his words is, “Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger…Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!”)
So what does it mean to clothe ourselves in the Holy? In Putting on the Mind of Christ, Jim Merion notes that to clothe ourselves in the Holy, to put on the mind of Christ, is not just to admire Christ but to acquire his consciousness. This is beyond questions of wardrobe. This is about acting as the Holy One would. How do we see the world through the eyes of God or feel with the divine heart? How do we clothe ourselves in compassion so that we move closer to fulfillment God’s dream of abundant life for everyone? How do we put on the garment of healing for a world both beautiful and broken?
These are the big questions that came from my frayed and tattered slippers. It seems I won’t be discarding them any time soon. After all, they brought me to this. And then they brought me to you.
Sit in stillness with the Holy One.
If you have a garment that expresses your image of God, hold it, or wear it, or imagine it.
Ask to be in sync with the beating heart of the Holy One.
Ask to see with the eyes with which God gazes at our world.
Wrap this worldview around yourself, and linger in this image.
Featured image: Source unknown
Thank you for your prayerful support of all who were part of the retreat day I led for IHM Associates. Their living of IHM spirituality continues to inspire all who know them.
On February 14, as we celebrate the feast of love known as Valentine’s Day, know that you who follow, support, and comment on Mining the Now are specially in my heart and prayer.
To automatically subscribe to receive new posts from Mining the Now:
Go to the Home Page of Mining the Now (chriskoellhofferihm.org) In the left-hand column above the section marked “Archives,” you’ll see the words, “Subscribe to blog via email.”
Enter your email address in the space provided and then click on “Subscribe” and follow any prompts. You’ll then be subscribed to automatically receive any future blog posts from Mining the Now.
Thank you for following!