I have had many spiritual guides during my life. Some are people close to me: family members, friends, teachers and co-workers. Others are people who I know only through their writings: theologians, novelists, mystics, and poets. By sharing their widsom and experiences, these people have helped me along on my own spiritual journey. When I feel stuck or empty or in need of inspiration, spiritual guides have helped me find clarity and peace. They have also led me into a deeper connection with God.
During my sabbatical, I have decided to spend time each day with a spiritual guide. The one I have chosen is new to me, though many of you know her: Madeleine L’Engle. (No, not Sawyer from Lost! Though he did read her famous novel, A Wrinkle in Time, in several Lost episodes.)
I don’t remember if I’ve ever read A Wrinkle in Time or any of L’Engle’s other novels, though I think not. What I wasn’t aware of is that she also wrote volumes of her reflections on the spiritual life. Daily, now, I am reading from a book entitled 40-Day Journey with Madeleine L’Engle. In the introduction, the editor introduces L’Engle by saying,
Madeleine walked this journey herself, leaving us her personal legacy as a witness to the ‘million surfaces’ of the Christian life, accessible in varying degrees to any who also take this journey. Seeking not only a life of prayer and reflection and love, but also one of maturity, is the overriding theme of these pages – as her quotes express the fine distinctions that a soul must deal with in the exigencies of life.