Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Lenten Thought

In my cycle of reading, it's time for some fiction. So I picked up a volume that's been sitting on my shelves for a number of years (well ... decades), and been moved from house to house several time, but which I have never read. It's nothing famous, and I don't remember where I got it, except that I didn't buy it new. It's called In This House of Brede, the work of Rumer Godden, published in 1969. The action takes place in an English Roman Catholic Benedictine convent in the late 1950s.

I'm not far enough into this book to know whether it's much good, but the opening lines of the Prologue show some promise:
The motto was 'Pax,' but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Pax: peace, but what a strange peace, made of unremitting toil and effort, seldom with a seen result; subject to constant interruptions, unexpected demands, short sleep at nights, little comfort, sometimes scant food; beset with disappointments and usually misunderstood; yet peace all the same, undeviating, filled with joy and gratitude and love. "It is My own peace I give unto you." Not, notice, the world's peace.
Learning to identify the "world's peace," and then repeatedly renounce it, is, I would say, always on the task list of a Christian disciple.

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