Forty-some years I've Lived in the mountains, Ignorant of the world's Rise and fall. Warmed at night by a stove Full of pine needles; Satisfied at noon by a bowl Of wild plants; Sitting on rocks Watching clouds and empty thoughts; Patching my robe in sunlight; Practicing silence Till someone asks Why Bodhidharma came east, And I hang out my wash.
It's been too long since I linked to a work by the Italian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto). Here's one at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.: The Square of Saint Mark's, Venice (1742/1744).
Continuing in my present search for a better balanced and more meaningful life, I take up the expression "the fruits of the Holy Spirit." These are twelve in number and, according to my sources, are "works that we can perform
only with the aid of the Holy Spirit." The performance of such works is, then, an indication that the Holy Spirit dwells in the person performing said works.
Although I do not practice any particular religion, I was brought up as a Roman Catholic. The language of Roman Catholicism is thus, you could say, my "native language" so far as spiritual matters are concerned.
At the moment, I'm experiencing some depression and some burn-out, and am generally in need of a different approach to my daily life. Toward that end, I've once again opened up the last novels of Susan Howatch, in which she describes an approach to Christianity that I find very appealing and life-enhancing.
For the moment, I want to focus on how her protagonists begin their days by attempting to tune into God and His wishes. For my purposes, I think that a good way of thinking about this is that one is seeking the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are: