This week's RevGalBlogPals Friday Five:
Dante had Virgil as a guide. Before he had younger siblings, my oldest child had an imaginary friend named Patrick. Betsy had Tacy. Laura Ingalls depended on her brindle bulldog, Jack. All of them were companions on the way.
As we take the beginning steps of our journey through Lent, who would we take as a companion? Name five people, real or imaginary, you might like to have with you as guide or guardian or simply good friend.
That's a challenging question. And hard to narrow down. But I will try.
Fellow Traveler. FT -- and how I wish the Kristian haters could understand this -- is very much a thoughtful and supportive spiritual advisor. (She's also a very kindly kvetch when I procratinate activities like writing my Prayers of the Church when I'm on deck as AM on a Sunday.) And she's excited about going through Lent with me. We're serious about being accountability partners. So she's definitely coming along with me.
My pastor. My pastor is a very laid-back, chambray-shirted, blue-jeaned fellow whom I suspect, deep down, has a spiky, high-up-the-candle alter ego. I remember, back when I was in school and he was a campus pastor, wandering into church one weekday and finding him saying Noon Prayer all by himself in the sanctuary. He invited me to join him. "If anyone's in the building, I invite them in," he explained. I think he'd be a good Daily Office companion; and he always enjoys general Godtalk.
My online friends. Okay. I'm cheating. I can't pick just one. I appreciate the wisdom, humor, friendship and moral support of all my online friends.
My maternal grandmother. I never really knew my grandmother -- she died when I was about two -- but what I know of her is that she was a very spiritual, very intellectually curious, very creative woman whose life parameters were constrained by a stepmother worthy of a Grimm fairy tale who yanked her out of grade school at age 10 to work as a domestic, and later by an unhappy marriage and life of sickness and financial hardship. My grandmother wanted her children and grandchildren to be educated and to travel; to be creative; to do all the things she'd wanted to do in her own life. I suspect that she would be delighted by my lay ministry training, and would want to join me on a Lenten spiritual journey.
Julian of Norwich. I just like her. My impression, after I'd read her Revelations of Divine Love for the first time, was that Julian is in no way a "plaster saint," but a very earthy, accessible woman -- someone to do theology with around a tea table. A boon Lenten companion, I think.
I'm going to cheat again. I'd also like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, someone for whom the way of the Cross was a reality that ultimately cost him his own life, to walk with me; to help me move beyond a comfortable, complacent Christianity.