A to Z Blogging Challenge


O is for Obscurity.

At Laity Lodge -- Jill is on the right.
At Laity Lodge — Jill is on the right. (I’m leaving the others in obscurity for now.)

Jill Phillips gave a devotion one morning at Laity Lodge and spoke about the book Forgotten Among the Lilies by Ron Rolheiser, a Catholic theologian.

Rolheiser talks about “The Martyrdom of Obscurity”, saying that ordinary life is enough.

The human heart is full of longings — but Rolheiser says that longing is our spiritual lot.

Today we are called as Christians to the martyrdom of obscurity. Christianity always invites its adherents to martyrdom. To be a follower of Christ demands that one lay down one’s life. But this takes various forms. … In our culture meaningful self-expression is everything; lack of it is death. Yet it is this death that paschally we must enter.


That stops me every time I read it.

Ordinary life is enough.

Yes, enough.

To live in a small town and attend a small church.

To grow green beans in my garden.

To color pictures with crayons with my children.

To watch a high school tennis match or an age-group swim meet.

To make macaroni and cheese for dinner — again.

To fold towels and clean toilets and wash dishes and sweep up the dog hair on the floor.

To be Niggle, in Leaf by Niggle, and have one leaf to show at the end of my life, because I helped my neighbor and put aside my longings for more.

All these things are enough.

To live in obscurity is not such a bad thing.

Indeed, it may be the best thing.

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