Sunday, November 9, 2014
The high school I attended required four years of Latin instruction. I appreciate the value of that discipline now, but back then it was a grind.
Our teacher was old school: She believed in drill and repetition. Repetition, repetition, repetition! “Repetitio est mater studiorum,” she intoned over us several times a day. “Repetitio ad absurdum,” we muttered under our breath.
I realize now that that most of life is simply that: repetition—a round of ordinary, dull, uninspiring, lackluster things that must be done again and again every day. “Repetition is reality...our daily bread,” Kierkegaard said. But, as he went on to say, “It is the bread that satisfies with benediction.”
It’s a matter of taking up each duty, no matter how mundane, humble, trivial, or onerous and asking God to bless it and put it to his intended purposes. In that way we take the drudgeries of life and turn them into holy work, freighted with unseen, eternal consequence.
Gerard Manley Hopkins said that, “a man with a dung–fork in his hand and a woman with a slop–pail” are doing the work of God if they “mean it that way."
Knowing my heart, I’ll have to “mean it” several times a day.