We are like members of a choir which is singing together unaccompanied; possibly we do not know each other very well, and we are not used to singing together. Gradually, though we do not hear it, we drop lower and lower, and the choirmaster has to give a little toot on his pitch pipe to remind us of the level at which we ought to be singing.
Isn’t this rather like our tendency to live day by day, doing the same things over and over again, meeting the same duties and the same people, while we are often working at great pressure, rushing to get things finished, and breathlessly trying to "cope"? Whether we enjoy this pressure – and I am sure that some of us do like it – or whether we hate it, very often the effect is the same: without being aware of it, our "note" is dropping all the time, our prayers are becoming more formal, or more irregular, or more languid. When we are able to secure a little leisure, we find it increasingly difficult to make the most of it; we are "distracted," or "dissipated" in the sense in which Pascal uses the word.
To revert to our parable of the choir; the note on which our lives are being lived is dropping all the time – and we don’t notice it, we need a sudden and urgent reminder, to pull us sharply, as the choirmaster does when he sounds his pitch pipe. We need something to pull us together and to help us to screw the note of our lives up again. (Olive Wyon, Consider Him)
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