In the Washing of Dishes, Side by Side

Dispatches from Fr. Charitas

Monday, May 21, 2018

I am closest to Christ, in deepest conversation and communion with Christ, when I am doing the chores of humble servanthood.  As I ladle soup into bowls for the homeless or when I wash the dishes, I find Christ there with me shoulder to shoulder.  And as I so often find when souls work side by side, the Lord and I grow all the closer for we share shared a few moments or hours in doing the Servant-Work.  A certain collegiality, a certain kind of bond, forms in working side-by-side.  In some ways, it is different from the kind of bonds formed when meeting face-to-face.  It is somehow different, this side-by-side conversation.  And I thinking it has to do … with sharing the Moment.

dishwashingA number of times in my counseling work, I have suggested that couples who are having difficulty in communicating with one another, that they spend a few weeks washing and drying dishes to together, the old-fashioned way.  The first few days not progress will be noticed, but after a week or so of this intentional exercise involving a simple daily chore … usually something emerges between them.  There in that common space doing that common work … where there is no threat merely a cooperative effort … a new manner of sharing begins to arise, a casual, non-threatening, unpressured conversation.  Many times … this prescription proved helpful.

I believe it is a most vital spiritual practice … this menial Servant-Work that draws one closer to the Lord and others.

Always in His Service,

Fr. Charitas de la Cruz

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