The object of idolatry is not really the point here. It is the war of wills that any genuine spiritual experience–and you will know such an experience is genuine by the extent to which it demands uncomfortable change–sets off inside the heart and mind of the one who has it. Every man has a man within him who must die.
From Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss (pgs. 131-132)
The fall will bring a slightly different schedule for me. The whole thing holds together and will open me to new ways of deepening my vocation and the little works which make up my vocation. I’ll be doing a lot, and I’m looking forward to it.
Perhaps it seems inappropriate to hold this poem on this blog, but it seems a striking reminder for me as a parent. In the end, as I see it and believe it and imagine it, all our small works turn to one task of continued self-surrender, continued dying.
That dying sits at the bottom of my faith, though that bottom would quickly, almost too effortlessly, be named as living. That eternal life only comes after one has regularly and daily passed through the gates of death. Life comes from death, says the One we follow. May this poet’s words be a reminder of these things to me:
Among Many Tasks
Among many tasks
I’ve forgotten that
it’s also necessary
to be dying
I have neglected this obligation
or have been fulfilling it
everything will change
I will start dying assiduously
without wasting time
Tadeusz Rozewicz (From The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry)