the sustenance of existence …

“The last degree of love is when He gave Himself to us to be our Food;
because He gave Himself to be united with us in every way.”

St. Bernardine of Siena

(lemons to be / Julie Cook / 2018)

Sometimes I get busy.

I get distracted.

Some might even say that my distraction is more than that of “normal” people…

I simply call it brain multi-tasking…
Others may call it scattered or ADD or unfocused…


Yet it is in those moments, those days, those weeks, those chapters of life that
I seem to allow myself to become consumed.

I become consumed by the demands of a world that may or may not be good.

And as I am consumed…thinking that I am focused, going through the motions,
doing that stuff that needs doing…
I then become tired, irritable, out of sorts, short, curt, ill-tempered, mean,
hateful, mean-spirited, disrespectful, ungrateful, arrogant, self-serving…

You can see where this is going right?

It’s a journey going down into a dark hole.

Yet I continue to rationalize my busyness, my preoccupations, my activities, my doings
my demeanor, my unappealing self…

“Who has time for anything other than______???!!!” (fill in the blank)
as I hear my inner-self rationalizing an ever-increasing darkening journey…

Yet Saint Bernardine of Siena’s words have stopped me in my tracks this morning…
As I am pulled immediately and abruptly back into my own reality…

The one piece of the maddening puzzle that is missing…

That of loving nourishment…

Jesus gave himself as my food.

Food as in…
“This is my body…take and eat…

My sustenance,
my nourishment,
and the sustaining of my actual existence…

The host that feeds both my body and soul…

His very self which is to be consumed by me who is starving and yet who is totally
unaware of how malnourished I’ve allowed myself to actually become.

A food bound by a tie of immense and all-encompassing Love

Another dynamic saint once said,
“…I will not be a burden, for I want not what is yours, but you…
I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your sakes” (2 Corinthians 12:14).
There is danger that we see only the whirlwind of activity in the Bernardines of
faith—taking care of the sick, preaching, studying,
administering, always driving—and forget the source of their energy.
We should not say that Bernardine could have been a great contemplative if
he had had the chance.
He had the chance, every day, and he took it.

Franciscan Media

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.

John 4:32-34

13 comments on “the sustenance of existence …

  1. Sometimes God’s work seems very mundane and we wonder if we are really following God’s will. We then need to reflect on our calling from God; Matthew 25 will affirm that we are called even to the mundane. That is discipleship. Thanks for this reflection Julie!

  2. hatrack4 says:

    Let’s look at your scatteredness from a different light, one less judgmental. In Jungian psychology, there is a identifier of Judging versus perceiving people. Judging people have made up their mind before all of the facts are in. Perceiving people cannot really make up their mind, because they are waiting for that next elusive fact. These are the extremes with most of humanity somewhere in between. But each of us is born with that marker in our temperament. People that are habitually scattered with nothing but unfinished projects around them are usually perceivers. As you try to get one thing done, you see ten other unfinished projects. It is not wrong, or abnormal, just the way you were made. The fact that 75% of your neighbors are the judging kind, they’ll say you are wrong, broken, weird. I may be dead wrong here, but I am just trying to give a non-judgmental view of scattered behavior. My wife and I are both judger types, but we are also intuitive-feeling types. We have projects to show our love for others that habitually never quite get done because we over extend our abilities and time to do them. It would be even worse if we were intuitive-feeling-perceivers.

    As for the anxiety, I will pray for you. You have a lot on your plate right now and the scatteredness may stem from “I can’t fix the root problem, so I will get busy to keep my mind off the root problem.”

    Remember, it is all in God’s hands.

  3. says:

    Thinking of you and praying that all is well. We’re in Greenville, SC now after another quest by my road warrior husband and a near meltdown on my part. Off road trips for me😜

  4. Great post and photo. Absolutely love the blossoms on your lemon tree. I pray Autumn is getting better and better. Love, N 🙂 ❤ xoxoxo

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