02 April 2015

What Gives You Pleasure?

[[Hi Sister Laurel,  I wanted to thank you for your reply on what was most important to you in living your vocation or what you most enjoyed and looked forward to each day. If I can I would like to ask a somewhat different question, that is, what gives you pleasure during a day? I understand that Scripture and the other things give you joy but I think the question of pleasure is a different one.]]

Well, really interesting question! I am sure I have never been asked it before! Yes, the question of what gives me pleasure is a different question than the one of joy though there is also some overlap. So what gives me pleasure? Well, a hot shower certainly does. So does the hot cup of tea or spiced cider I sip during Lauds or before my first period of quiet prayer (I use a themos mug so it stays hot for several hours). In Summer praying outside and watching the sunrise is a distinct pleasure. Seeing the face or hearing the voice of the friend who gives me a ride to Mass some mornings gives me real pleasure. Being able to lector or chant or serve the cup at daily Mass gives me pleasure. (I prefer serving the host at Sunday Mass and that is an immense pleasure.) Returning to my hermitage after Mass gives me pleasure. Crafting a good paragraph or getting a violin passage entirely under my fingers gives me pleasure.  Hearing or seeing something new in a Scripture passage gives me pleasure. Seeing signs of real growth in a client gives me both joy and pleasure.

Many weeks I give a reflection at a Liturgy of the Word with Communion and when it really comes together that is a distinct pleasure. (It's a good deal more than that as well of course.) Meeting with my delegate is always a pleasure, especially when we have dinner together --- even when what we talk about is difficult. A new theology book by NT Wright, or Sandra  Schneiders, or the occasional mystery by Anne Perry or a fantasy by Robin Hobb are major pleasures. A bowl of my Spicy Corn Chowder is a pleasure especially on fast or abstinence days or in the Winter more generally, and in cold weather sitting next to my space heater and really feeling toasty warm is a pleasure. So is doing dishes in hot soapy water. Sitting with my cat Clancy curled up and sleeping in my lap is a pleasure. In Summer praying outside again in the middle of the night is a pleasure. At the end of the day climbing into bed with my fleece sheets is a terrific pleasure! And of course periods of sleep are real pleasures whenever they occur.

I haven't made an exhaustive list here. Just some of the things that came to mind and made me smile as I thought about some more usual days. Thanks for the question, considering it was a pleasure!!