Jewish people around the world mark the end of the High Holy Days tonight with the conclusion of Yom Kippur at sundown. Though it seems odd – be patient; hopefully the connection will become clear – tonight seems an appropriate time to revisit something I first read about six weeks ago.
In Divine Intimacy, a collection of Christian meditations on the interior life written by a Carmelite, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, more than fifty years ago I ran across a phrase that has stayed with me since reading it back in August:
I have had enough of being the plaything of vain, deceitful things.
(see entry at Catholic-Pages.com for the whole article)
The rest of the entry expresses a hope in forgiveness to make a new start. Like I said, this has been stuck in my head, just kind of bouncing around for the last few weeks. I think of all the ways I allow myself to be distracted, to be a little too enamored of some things, and way too enamored of still others. It would be easy to be discouraged, to despair, even, of ever being able to change if it were not for the possibility of starting again. But I am reminded, and remind myself that every day is a new day, every moment a new moment, the new day and the new moment offering a new chance.
Wishing friends a happy (Jewish) new year (L’Shana Tova!) and thinking about the days of Yom Kippur and erev Yom Kippur, the days on which one asks forgiveness of God and, before that, forgiveness of each other kept this meditation fresh in my mind. After living with it for a while I feel like I have finally been able to put it into context – to forgive and be forgiven, to get up and start again.