Saturday, April 5, 2014

No Sidelines

There are no 'sidelines' in life; no having our cake and eating it too; no free rides; we either are coming into focus or we are going out of focus. This is common knowledge and yet, ... we are often coerced to the 'sidelines' denying the interconnectedness of life - the mimetic nature of living in the image and likeness of God.

Call it relativism,
Call it political-correctness,
Call it what it is, the myth that tries to justify making-no-waves.

In our attempts to posture ourselves straddling-the-fence on all of life's decisions that are ours to make, be they small or large, we allow ourselves to be swept off the playing field, relegated to the 'sidelines' where there is no shortage of whimpering and whining.

Léon Bloy (1846-1917), the French novelist, poet, and Catholic convert had a way of seeing through the fog - the myth of straddling the fence. In her column, "Credible Witnesses" in the Magnificat, Heather King shares an excerpt from Bloy's Pilgrim of the Absolute:
"Every man who begets a free act projects his personality into the infinite... If he begets an impure act, he perhaps darkens thousands of hearts whom he does not know, who are mysteriously linked to him, and who need this man to be pure as a traveler dying of thirst needs the Gospel’s draught of water. A charitable act, an impulse of real pity sings for him the divine praises, from the time of Adam to the end of the ages; it cures the sick, consoles those in despair, calms storms, ransoms prisoners, converts the infidel and protects mankind."
To be awaken: to be fully alive as a person made in His image and likeness is taking up our cross, if you will, seeing the choice of our actions, from what life hands us, as a choice, even mysteriously, shared with thousands of hearts not yet known. This sharing is the joy of being human and it is in living fully THIS life that we are all called to participate.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

If we carry too little silence... Madeleine Delbrêl

"Whoever hears my word"
It is because the Word became flesh that we cannot know him without listening to him. But we can know him even less if we do not try to love him as we listen and try to imitate him with our flesh here where we are living his life; and try to follow his Word where it wants to lead us. And his Word wants to lead us into the depths of the alliance between ourselves and God to where the union of our own will with that of God becomes possible, to where it becomes possible for our acts to be his.

If we carry too little silence, too little recollection, to hold this new form of fruit or to enable us to come to touch the secret of the world, we cannot be alive with the mystery of this alliance. And every form of love on earth is merely an image of this great alliance.

It seems impossible to me to imagine a life lived in accordance with the Gospel that does not include both wanting a life of silence and knowing that such a life is essential.

If we pick out from the beginning of the Gospel to the end all the statements Jesus makes about the "Word" of God - all that he says about the conditions needed for it to be "received" and "listened to"; for it to be "kept," for it to be "done," for it to be "announced"; - we will quickly realize that for the "good news" to be known, lived and communicated it must be welcomed, recollected, and carried in the depth of our being.

And if our whole lives have to be made subject to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if we desire to make all his words as far as possible our guide in the circumstances of our life, this will only be possible if we make creating silence an integral part of our life.
Madeleine Delbrêl, The Joy of Believing - from the Magnificat