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WHAT IS THE "GIVENNESS" OF YOUR LIFE?

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a givenness to our inconsolable secret

"Since most of the things we call beautiful are inanimate, it is not very surprising that they take no notice of us.

That, of course, is true.

It is not the physical objects that I am speaking of, but that indescribable something of which they become for a moment the messengers.  

And part of the bitterness which mixes with the sweetness of that message is due to the fact that it so seldom seems to be a message intended for us, but rather something we have overheard.  

By bitterness I mean pain, not resentment.  We should hardly dare to ask that any notice be taken of ourselves.  But we pine.

The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory





The yawns between us and reality.

…I have a givenness to our inconsolable secret.

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a givenness to be taken into the dance

"Glory, as Christianity teaches me to hope for it, turns out to satisfy my original desire and indeed to reveal an element in that desire which I had not noticed.  By ceasing for a moment to consider my own wants I have begun to learn better what I really wanted.

When I attempted, a few minutes ago, to describe out spiritual longings, I was omitting one of their most curious characteristics. 


You know what I mean.  

For a few minutes we have had the illusion of belonging to that world.  Now we wake to find that it is no such thing.  

We have been mere spectators.  

Beauty has smiled, but not to welcome us; her face was turned in our direction, but not to see us.  We have not been accepted welcomed, or taken into the dance.  


We may go when we please, we may stay if we can: “Nobody marks us.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory




Beauty turned her face in my direction and she saw me.

…I have a givenness to being taken into the dance.

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a givenness to end my hunger strike

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"Therefore if you present your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and first go be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and present your gift.”  Matthew 5:23




I ended my hunger strike today.  

Week after week, I would sit in church with my family and my two sons’ girlfriends who refused to be reconciled.  And week after week, I would refuse to receive the body and blood of Christ.

It just seemed hypocritical to me to be in ‘communion’ in church, when these two young women, who I consider to be my own daughters, weren’t in ‘communion’ in the domestic church of our family.  

How could I approach the altar of God, when they couldn’t approach the table of our family?

But today it ended.  The hunger strike and whatever it was that they held against each other.  I cried.  And they cried.  Out of sadness.  And then, out of joy.  

What a gift these two beautiful young women left at the altar today!

I’m not hungry any more.  I am full.  So full.  Full of joy.  


Cesar Chavez, pray for us!

…I have a givenness to end my hunger strike.

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a givenness to the remote control

"What draws us to the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote."  

Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness - Vox Clamantis in Deserto - Notes From A Secret Journal




What drew me to the desert.

…I have a givenness to the remote control.