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I attended a one-day retreat last week on the life of Dorothy Day. We discussed her life and how God was at work in her moments even when she didn’t realize His presence. The second part of her life was spent serving and loving the poor as if they were Christ.
I have read many of the books by and about Dorothy Day and always learn something new.
The presenter mentioned in Day’s autobiography, The Long Loneliness, she divided her life into three periods. Then she did something very unique: Dorothy gave each of those times chapter names: Searching (her first 25 years), Natural Happiness (next 10 years) and Love is the Measure (the rest of her life)
Our assignment at this retreat was to reflect on our time line and if we gave chapter names to our life, what would they be?
Great reflective question.
At other retreats I have drawn my lifeline out in years, noting significant events and spiritual highs and lows. I have experienced great divine mountain top highs and dark lost lows. To be honest this exercise has also revealed lots of gray, lukewarm times, too.
But I never gave these times names before. I still haven’t but am working on it. I have realized a few things: in my reflection I saw with new eyes a pretty lonely little girl growing up. I never realized the depth of the loneliness before. Perhaps little Jeanie is still healing from that difficulty.
One name that has surfaced so far for the second half of my life is: Rebirth. I feel so much more alive, free, and loved by God after I turned 50. I have so much enjoyed growing older and wiser.
So what do you think? Would the chapters of your life have different names?