Sabbatical begins

From John O’Donohue’s- To Bless the Space Between


Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.


Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.


Imitate the habit of twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day.


Draw alongside the silence of stone

Until its calmness can claim you.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.


Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.

Learn to linger around someone of ease

Who feels they have all the time in the world.


Gradually, you will return to yourself,

Having learned a new respect for your heart

And the joy that dwells far within slow time.


If I had to pick a prayer for sabbatical for both me and for you St. Peter’s, this would be it. I hope this time of renewal is exactly that--a time to refresh, to take a deep breath. This has arguably been one of the most bizarre and challenging seasons. We’ve each felt it in different ways.


So, here’s some final unsolicited advice before I go silent for three months:


1. Don’t suffer in silence. Yes, the world is still different, restrictions are still in place, normal has not returned. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Reach out. Go outside. Pick up the phone. We’re not alone.

2. Pivot. Look at something or someone in a new way. It’s likely you’ve been doing this as we’ve all had to adjust. So now, take some time to investigate this new perspective. What do you see now that you didn’t see before?


3. Pay attention. Is there anything more simple, more profound, or more challenging? The world is waking up...what is she saying to you?


4. Find the way of grace. Grace for yourself and grace for others. Perfection isn’t the goal here. Do what is good. Grace can teach us how to love expansively...and that has the power to change anything and everything.


5. Take a nap! Rest! Look at the blue sky. Listen to the rustle of the leaves or the birdsong. Please, take some time in these three months to find some rest--whatever form that takes for you. Rest is essential. Rest is resistance. As I said, the world is waking up and we are with her, and the work ahead is plenty. So rest. Refuel. Reclaim the Sabbath.

You are loved beyond measure, exactly as you are and as you are becoming. I’m hopeful these three months will offer rest and surprising joys for each of us. May the Spirit guide and hold you gently.


With love,