Monday, January 9, 2012

It's in the Air


I have a secret belief. It’s not related to any religion. It’s a belief I’ve had for many years and never been disappointed by it nor had it disproved as incorrect.

Simply stated: I believe that every Sunday, somewhere in The New York Times newspaper, I will find something that will add to or support my own spiritual growth. It rarely is found in an article about religion. It might be in the sports section, the business section, or the obituaries. Very often, something is in the arts section, sometimes the real estate section, and then there isalways the book review or the magazine.

Two weekends ago, it happened again. On Sunday, January 1, 2012 there they were: two articles – one in the op-ed (Sunday Review) and the other was in the travel section. Ironically, each had to do with the same theme: the need for silence in our lives.

In the travel section, the article dealt with a woman’s need for “a solid period of quiet.” The 43-year-old mother of three, as the article put it, “needed (somewhere) to recombobulate. Cheaply.” Her searching brought her to a Jesuit-run retreat house where she had time to herself to examine her life with the help of a spiritual director and sort out where her life had brought her.

The second article took the front and center spot of The Sunday Review section. The article was titled, “The Joy of Quiet.” It dealt with our need for quiet in our ever-demanding and intrusive world of technology. Our technology swallows up our attention at every turn and tap of an app!

We experience our world through a screen. The average American spends at least eight and a half hours hunched over, “bowing before,” one every day. That which was supposed to have freed us has enslaved us – or so it seems. Ironically the author concludes (and has research to back it up) that it’s our immersion in the natural world, listening to nature, that heals us and makes us more attentive to the rest of our lives.

I pass this on because finding these two articles was like getting a double hitter for myself. It renewed my belief in my “Sunday practice.” It reminded me of all the people I meet through Wisdom House who have the same pressures and the same yearnings. It reinforced my belief that this need is “in the air.”

And now all I have to do is to click the Send button to share this reflection with my closest 2000 friends! And, after that, Shut Down. Take a walk outside.

Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP