Eckhart on Holiness

Counsel 4 (from Counsels on Discernment) speaks “Of the profits of self-abandonment, which one should practice inwardly and outwardly.” In particular, these words struck a chord:

People ought never to think too much about what they could do, but they ought to think about what they could be…We ought not to think of building holiness upon action; we ought to build it upon a way of being, for it is not what we do that makes us holy, but we ought to make holy what we do….as we are holy and have being, to that extent we make all our works holy, be it eating, sleeping, keeping vigil, or whatever they may be. (emphasis added)

In my current vocation as wife, mother, and keeper of the home, it is easy to bemoan the sameness, the drudgery, the lack of concrete results in so much of how I spend my day.

Kathleen Norris’ little book The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women’s Work speaks exactly to this. She compares women’s work to liturgy…acts that are repeated and that can have a contemplative aspect that is often overlooked. Acts that can be transforming and holy.

I haven’t come across my copy in our unpacking yet, but I’m due to read it again. It’s slim, at only 89 pages, but an inspiring read for all who mother.

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