The Art of Composure

Finding myself on sabbatical, and in need of a theme, a place, arrangements, etc, was certainly not what I was planning on doing for the end of 2020. I’m working on a book about the experience, because I’m sure there are many spiritual lessons to be learned that will be valuable. And I have to write something.

With all of that in mind, I landed on the theme of composure.

What exactly, you might ask, is composure?

Composure Defined

Merriam-Webster defines composure as “a calmness or repose especially of mind, bearing, or appearance.”

Some of the many, many, many weblogs devoted to the subject define composure further as “Self-possession in a time of anger and gaslighting.”

I like that.

Covid and Composure

Scripture is filled with examples of composure. Jesus before Pilate, carrying the Cross, undergoing Crucifixion, for instance. Or look briefly at Esther. Or almost anyone in Scripture for that matter.

We can look at the saints too – St. Denis last Friday, the patron saint of Paris, was beheaded in the city, picked up his head and walked back to the then village of St. Denis. Now that’s composure.

This time of covid have found many, and I was saying this back in April, looking for someone on whom they can take out their anger. Just when we think we’ve found the culprit, the story changes, and there’s someone else. Then a news story breaks, and it’s someone else all over again. It’s a study in non-composure.

Composure and Web Presence

I’ll also decide what to do with my site here – it was a repository for photos back in the day, but as my spiritual director says about things in general right now, it’s the end of an era. Maybe I’ll find a seminar during my sabbatical that can help with that decision.

The soul is an image of heaven because God dwells in it. ~ St. Basil the Great (Office of Readings for St. Seraphin of Montegranaro, OFM Cap.)


The Rev. Kenneth Allen