Knitting Yourself (or Someone Else) into Silent Peace

Knit One Purl a Prayer

"Oh, that's girl stuff—you guys wouldn't be interested. But I do find it contemplative," she said to her husband and their friend Brother Anthony.

Thus opened the moment when Peggy Rosenthal discovered that the Desert Fathers wove baskets while they were at prayer. And, said Brother Anthony, since it was the *process* of weaving the basket that mattered, the Fathers sometimes burned their baskets afterwards.

Peggy finds the process of knitting (a kind of weaving) calming. And, like another woman she heard about, it sometimes helps her "knit herself into the silent peace at the heart of the Divine Presence."

But Peggy doesn't burn the work of her hands. Work has its place too—no less the kind that builds something along the way. This building, it can be touchingly beautiful, as when, she recounts, one Prayer Shawl Ministry group knitted a shawl for a friend facing divorce. The shawl—was it not moments of touch, knitting the hurting woman to other hearts, even as the woman was losing a heart she'd come unraveled from?

I sit here this morning and think that peace is a process. A slow knitting, sometimes of what has come unraveled, sometimes of new yarn, new moments yet to be placed clearly in space and time.

And I think my fingers are their own kind of knitters. Picking up letters and passing them through loops, making shawls for those in need of shelter and warmth.

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