Sunday, December 6, 2020

Year 2020—Trial and Transformation

For the past ten years, I have received daily inspiration and nourishment from Give Us This Day, a monthly publication produced by St. John’s Abbey Press.

Give Us This Day, provides a daily fest of inspiring stories, art, and writing of extraordinary women and men across the ages.

Today’s reading: When things Collapse: Trust in the Lord Forever, tackles this time of political unrest, racial violence, social restriction, and hardship. It reminds us that these conditions are not terrible visitations to be endured, lamented, or feared, but benefits we do not yet understand.

In a culture based on instant gratification and individual rights, we see a surge of rebellion against measures meant to protect us – as if we are severely deprived. We find it hard to think of limitations as benefits. We forget that even in times of suffering and anguish, blessings can be found if we open ourselves to see them. The laughter of children, the changing of the seasons, the tiny chickee that visits the window feeder. There are good books in which to travel, visits to make via Zoom, heroic essential services workers, good and generous neighbors who reach out to help and comfort others.

When I find it hard to trust in the eventual resolution to conflict and fear, I remember the Canticle of Habakkuk which is recited every Friday morning during the liturgical prayer of Lauds – a canticle that metaphorically blows my mind. Habakkuk’s world teetered on the edge of disaster. Invading armies, the looming destruction of Solomon’s Temple, the deportation of the Jews to Babylonia.

Yet Habakkuk prays: “For even though the fig tree does not blossom, nor fruit grow on our vines, even though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no harvest, even though flocks vanish from the folds and stalls stand empty of cattle, yet I will rejoice in the Lord and exult in God my savior. And so, might we.

Author update: During Advent, the loveliest of all liturgical seasons, a time of hope and gifting, I am offering free, from December 8-12, 2020, the newly published second edition of The Scent of God in eBook. The story of the search for divine love that led me into a cloister as a teen, and the unraveling of that vocation fifteen ears later when I met and fell in love with a priest was praised as “a deeply moving tale of a woman torn between her love for God and her love for one of his emissaries” by Publishers Weekly

Click here to get one for yourself or for a friend.
book jacket
I think you will be glad you did. Meanwhile, make like Habakkuk and rejoice in God our savior. Blessed holidays to each of you.

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About Me

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Beryl is the author of The Scent of God: A Memoir published by Counterpoint NY in 2006 and A View of the Lake published by Lake Superior Port Cities Inc. in 2001. She’s been living on Lake Superior for seventeen wonderful years, and spent 10 years writing two popular columns for the Cook County News Herald: Newcomer Notes and Putting Down Roots. Beryl is past president of the Schroeder Area Historical Society and a long-time chair of its Oral History and Marketing committees. She is a past board member of the Violence Prevention Center in Grand Marais and committee member for the Grand Marais Art Colony’s first ever annual North Shore Reader and Writers Festival. She’s been published in the Sun Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, Lake Superior Magazine, and The Trenton Times and in the anthologies, Surviving Ophelia published by Perseus Publications in 2001 and The New Writer's Handbook, Vol. 2, published by Scarletta Press in 2008 and was named Best of Minnesota Writers by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She is currently working on her third memoir: the sequel to The Scent of God.