Compline- a paradox

By Dave Henning / August 8, 2013

“Let it come, as it will, and don’t be afraid.  God does not leave us comfortless, so let evening come.”- Jane Kenyon

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”- Psalm 91: 4

In Chapter 9 (“Grandfather Time: When Evening Comes”), the concluding chapter of The Attentive Life, Leighton Ford states that Compline is the hour signifying completion.  As David Steindl-Rast notes, Compline “reinforces the theme that the rhythm of our days parallels the rhythm of our life, and the way we live each hour.”  The completion of each day brings darkness, which often is perceived as a threat.  Yet darkness can also be a grace.  Compline is a time to return to God and find refuge (rest) under His wings until morning comes.

While Compline involves a sense of fulfillment or completion, paradoxically at the end of the day our lives are not fully completed.  At the end of the day, then, Compline calls us  to reflect on many endings and turning points as well as new roads for us to travel.  Yet, as Mary Morrison notes, this dynamic tension creates discomfort: “The new road is not marked at all and I am feeling my uncertainties strongly.”

Today’s question: How does reflecting on darkness as a grace help build a strong foundation for our healing journey toward revisioning of God’s calling?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “What is deepest in me?”

Note:  “Time to disengage?”, a new Short Meditation, will post this coming Monday.

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Dave Henning

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