Friday, January 8, 2016

Leisure

Pat McGowan
"Leisure. As friends at table discuss their anxious lives and reveal their release activities – running, tennis, yoga, massage – they admit they often pursue the release in the same spirit as their compulsive everyday business. What is leisure? Josef Pieper devotes a book to the subject*. He says, “Compared with the exclusive ideal of work as activity, leisure implies (in the first place) an attitude of non-activity, of inward calm, of silence; it means not being ‘busy,’ but letting things happen. Leisure is a form of silence, of that silence which is the prerequisite of the apprehension of reality only the silent hear and those who do not remain silent do not hear.”

"But external silence is not enough. One’s mind can exhibit the fury of trivia all day long. The silence of leisure as a particular quality of openness and receptivity. The stillness of waiting expectantly, ready to respond. A coming home to peace. To be at peace and at one with one’s deepest, most true self, having integrated all the various dark and light shades into the self whom I accept – but only because I know and love, forgive and am forgiven. And so, this coming home is also a coming before the Holy Other."
From Desert Call, a quarterly newsletter published by the Spiritual Life Institute, a Roman Catholic, ecumenical community of the vowed men and women with roots in the Carmelite contemplative tradition.
 

*Pieper, Josef. Leisure, The Basis of Culture, page 5

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