by Mary Schreiber, Women at the Well, Dubuque, Iowa
I have many special Sacred Places: meeting in community with my Theresian sisters locally and on the NLT; spending time with family which now includes grandchildren; participating in monthly sharing sessions with my aunt, cousins, and sisters-in-law; traveling with friends; working outside on our acreage; walking on nature trails; reading; transplanting houseplants; sitting and playing with our two Yorkies; and, even preparing meals and doing dishes. We moved to our home six years ago after both my mom and younger brother passed away within three months. I felt that I needed a change. Turns out it was a wonderful place to be sequestered during a pandemic.
What I sometimes lack is Sacred Focus. To me, Sacred Focus is prioritizing my time and effort and attention completely for 5, 10, 15 minutes or even more. It means that I devote my full and complete attention to the task or meeting at hand. I perform my task or interaction with others fully present to the moment. I listen, meditate, and reflect with my whole being. Except of course when something distracts me! I have a tendency to be an “Oh, look, a squirrel!” kind of person. My ADD takes over, and I have wandering thoughts about my next task, the welfare of my family, the news, or even the grocery list. So distraction—and sometimes even fear—get in the way. What is the answer? Focus again, and again, and again, with devotion and a full heart committed to the Sacred Place I am in.