My theme for 2014 is Oblation.
Cue everyone looking confused.
No one knows the word when I use it, so I promise you are not alone. I learned the word from Kathleen Norris years ago, but it is only common in certain circles. Typically, monastic circles. So, no worries. Here is the definition.
1. a thing presented or offered to God or a god.
religious offering, offering, sacrifice, peace offering, burnt offering, gift of thanks, first fruits, libation
Partially, this theme comes from my pursuing the path of an Oblate, but it is much and more than that. Even before I decided for sure to follow the oblate's path, I was turning more and more to the habit of intentional devotion.
Now, when I say devotion, I don't mean "devotional." Doing a daily devotional reading can be PART of oblation, but it is not the sum of my meaning. I am talking more here. I am talking about spiritual disciplines. And I know that sounds like work. Discipline. It sure is work to discipline my children. Neither of us enjoy it.
This is different however. This is about choosing Jesus again and again and again. It is about reminding myself of my own vows, my own promises, my own first love.
It's about turning first to Jesus when I want to turn to a book or a brownie or a phone call.
For me, this includes one major new practice. Well, not new. It is an ancient practice and one I have been attempting to adopt for many months now. I mentioned it in a past post. I have been praying the hours. Okay, not all of the hours, but I am making the practice a part of my day. And I am learning a lot.
Bring what you will. I have my hopes. I have my suspicions. I will be surprised, disappointed, pleased, and baffled by the contents of your days.
I will be all of these things, but I will not be
And I will not be
Praying the hours brings both solitude and community in one fell swoop, something my introverted little heart has longed for and never thought possible.
Tomorrow, I'll share a little more about my first epiphany of the year.