‘Algarete’ is a great word that I discovered in Puerto Rico, shortly after we joined our small CVX (CLC) community. I usually go to the meetings with a small notebook on which I enter new words or expressions. Algarete was one of the first ones I wrote down. It means ‘adrift’, as in a boat going adrift on the sea. Our meetings always start with the best of intentions. We have an agenda, developed over the years. It always begins with an opening prayer, then we move to sharing bits of our life since we last met.
When we introduced the idea of sharing, it came from Adult Children of Alcoholics where I remember everyone started the meeting with one or two sentences on how we each felt at that moment. No comments were expected or allowed even. Today, I feel really angry. Today I feel really sad. Today my life sucks. Today I feel really good. Each one thus had a basic idea how everyone felt and we could move to business, which was the exploration of one of the Twelve Steps.
Our CVX members rarely can fit how they feel into one sentence. We like to elaborate. Some interrupt to comment. Pretty soon, most of the meeting time has been about life sharing, which is heart-warming and truly important. I am sure that Godde is very pleased with it. St Ignatius may be as well, as listening is an art in Ignatian spirituality. At some point, however, someone exclaims, ‘We are algarete. We are adrift.’ And indeed we are.
For a while now, I have been algarete. I usually pray the daily readings. I even look at them the night before so that they can work on me. I come up with an idea or two for a blog. But my mind and life drift to some other activity, which I faithfully relate in my review of the day before I go to sleep.
Apart from the daily readings, two streams of thoughts have been with me these past few days.
This tweet of Fr James Martin has been rolling in both my mind and heart. I could only ‘favorite’ it. I could not pass it on. Why? When Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected Pope two years ago, I was filled with joy. My prayers had been answered: our new pope was coming from Latin America. On top of it, he was a Jesuit! Who would have thought?
I remember tweeting that I was praying for someone who came from Liberation Theology. While it may not be the case of Pope Francis, he has not hesitated to beatify Archbishop Oscar Romero which has been a saint for me for many years. Pope Francis stands also for the poor, repeatedly. In my heart, he stands as a prophet, while in some other people’s hearts he is a communist (the last Communist was Leon Trotsky and he was shot decades ago).
When I tweeted my hope for the next Pope, I forgot to mention that I was hoping he would be women-friendly. A bit like when I made a pink bubble for our next home, thirty years ago, I forgot to mention that I wanted a view. I got everything I had asked for; it’s only afterwards that I realized I would have liked a view. Well, it’s only after the fact that I thought of a feminist Pope… Oh well.
Still, I am extremely fond of Pope Francis. When I read today in an article on a speech he made, or an interview he gave, in Mexico that he expected to be Pope for two to five years, I felt a great sadness. I would like him to live much longer. Then I wondered whether in the time he sees allocated to him, he will be able to do all that he wants to do, for he has started so many changes. For his intentions, I pray.
The second stream of consciousness with me these days comes from an article I read in the New Yorker. Break-in at Y-12.
It’s a great piece on the Plowshares movement, Dorothy Day, Phil Berrigan, Elizabeth McAlister, and many other invisible heroes who face jail for the sake of nonviolence and US disarmament. This brought back to my mind an important moment in my thirty day retreat when looking at the world and the Two Standards of Ignatius, I saw that I was part of the problem (i.e. with the rich folks — most white folks are rich, whether they know it or not, compared to those who earn two dollars a day). The question which sprang to my mind then was, “Can I be part of the solution?”. And I have no answer yet.
I mentioned two thoughts, but in fact I would like to add two more:
— one, by the great Ilia Delio, a reflection entitled, Why the earth won’t green without us. It’s really worth reading. Her mind and heart soar above mine, and lifts me up to spheres and concepts which are obvious but so often unseen or unthought of; and
— finally, because I spend so much time on Twitter, sifting through the news for the pearl that will explain it all, here is a short video of Eckhart Tolle, The news is the deepest manifestation of unconscious. This is delightfully true once I give some thought to it.
As you can see, I am indeed algarete, all over the place, adrift on the ocean of life, not doing much, trying to love mainly, floating along in Godde’s arms.
Blessings on your own journey.