The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. --Thomas Merton
Monday, July 18, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Ever notice how high some walls seem? Ever notice how helpless you can feel when your attitude towards climbing that wall is so lame? I ignore the call for patience in many situations. I get frustrated and I see goals which have been set too high. They just seem to be unattainable.
Of course, time passes and light shines on that "wall" and you recognize that the ultimate goal (the top of the wall) is for later. Your goal will be achieved but, you must appreciate the wall for what it is.
Like this wall, faith and spirituality are high walls to climb. They are every shade of gray with lots of jagged edges, cracks to fall into, and no assurance that your attempt will be progressive. In all likelihood you will fall many times trying to get over that wall--maybe even doubting if there is the other side or retreating from the effort altogether. I guess for me the faith is knowing that there is a top and that I will get to it, and spirituality is knowing I just have to enjoy the experience for the time being.
I love knowing that the top of the wall is there. I know that I am free to walk away and come back to that wall and climb it as many times as I need. I know that there will be raw fingers at and maybe a few painful scrapes from the times I fall. But, no matter what that walls is there for me to climb up and conquer, it is not there to keep me down or out.
It is interesting how easily we fall into a trap because of the beauty of the prize. We think that if something is pretty and attractive and it feels good to look at that it must be good. In essence it is. But because we live in the real world we must recognize that even things of beauty and pleasure can be to our own detriment.
While we focus on our spirits during Lent, we often think and identify with the suffering that Jesus felt in the desert. But, it is nothing like the suffering of not having God in your heart. Can you imagine not being able to see God because of the web of words woven by people? If you practice contemplative prayer (meditation for non catholics), then focus on sight. The ability to see closely and from afar-is difficult and takes much practice and experience. This week I thank God for the clarity of sight.