A bit of history is in order, I expect…some context for our journey together. Order…hmmm…that word seems to have a number of different meanings….
Where to start?
This link will take you over to the visitor’s page at my Wikidot site called The Abbey, where you can get a few hints about what is important to me: http://the-abbey.wikidot.com/ It won’t take long to read the one page there, but it may be helpful to do so. The rest of this post will be here when you return.
Although The Abbey is a closed mentoring site (more about that another time, I’m sure), I wanted to share this quote from St. Francis of Assisi that continues to inspire me—and is present on our home page. Anyone who has seen Volume One of the Wikiklesia Project: Voices of the Virtual World, would find it just before my chapter—Virtual Mentoring at The Abbey.
Where there is charity and wisdom,
there is neither fear nor ignorance.
Where there is patience and humility,
there is neither anger nor vexation.
Where there is poverty and joy,
there is neither greed nor avarice.
Where there is peace and meditation,
there is neither anxiety nor doubt.
This morning, however, I have been jolted to begin in an unexpected posture. My beloved AbbE gave me a copy of his favorite book—we do love reading at The Abbey—and hoped that I would be able to find some time to read at least some of it. (AbbE knows that reading time is a precious commodity at my home.) I picked it up this morning, just to have a look.
This book by Irina Ratushinskaya, entitled Grey Is the Color of Hope, must be something special for it to be AbbE’s favorite, so I was curious to see what was so special. I had to put it down after chapter nine and record my thoughts…and to dry my tears. How could it be that this was the perfect book for this time in my journey? AbbE would call it “Divine Dominoes”…
It is her prison memoirs—an extraordinary documentary of an experience of communitas whose watchword was “Back to freedom with a clear conscience.” I am wondering what things will go undone in my life while I finish it…or whether it will be something that I can only read here and there because it is too deeply painful. Time will tell. Stay tuned….
As I shared the beginning of the story with my husband, I was overwhelmed with emotion—much like I am as I type this now—with a sense of shame on behalf of a decadent and free Western Christendom that has forgotten the call to live such love that the laying down of one’s life for one’s friends is a blessed privilege.
At Seabeck this week I was introduced to concepts of the Red Martyrdom (shedding of blood and death), the Green Martyrdom (deprivation and isolation) and the White Martyrdom (forsaking the comfort of hearth and home). These are my definitions, now, so forgive me if they do not do justice to the proper depth or nuance.
And I wondered…is there another? A mixture of sorts? Where physical brokenness is evident without actual death…where deprivation and isolation exists in the midst of suburban consumerism…where the call to serve others matches the call to serve one’s own.
So I have decided that The Abbey…and this Abbess…would embrace the color of a fourth Martrydom—Purple. Purple is my favorite color. It also happens to be the color of royalty—suitable for those of the Royal Priesthood and adopted children of King, it would seem.
And purple is lovely next to grey….