Here we are again, O Lord, to spend a few hours in friendship with our fellow members.

We are none of us without problems, without pains and aches, but we leave them all behind to come here and think of other things and talk of other matters.

Help us, O Lord, to maintain this attitude of balance between our physical needs and our mental needs, so we may continue to lead a hopeful, fulfilling life.

This being the first invocation, I’m sure my grandmother, Rose, agonized over the words, wondering whether her words would invoke introspection or simply be ignored. She put a lot of thought into what she wrote, unlike me who slams out sentences as fast as I can type.

My “attitude of balance” is to get the words down as fast as possible so I can move onto another project. Using a PC, I can easily go back and make changes, correct typos, and move around paragraphs.

Rose, however, used a typewriter. Making changes meant having to cross-out and retype. She had to be thoughtful and deliberate when she wrote. She had to balance the mental need to express herself with the physical aspect of having to type and retype a passage if she had carelessly hit the wrong keys are started typing before she had a complete train-of-thought.

The “attitude of balance,” however, she refers to in this invocation undoubtedly has nothing to do with writing or typing. The balance she juggled was between her writing and the need to be a good wife – keeping the house tidy, making meals, gardening, shopping, and keeping in touch with friends and family.

Rose came from a large family of five sisters and three brothers. Her husband, Morris, had seven sisters. Many lived close by, frequently visiting, and often seeking her support and wise advice. Her writings speak of the challenge of having to stay neutral or watch what she said to keep peace within the family.

Maybe it was this balancing act, which moved her to write about creating equilibrium between ones physical and mental needs.