Sunday, July 26, 2015
There are those who are close to me who would say to you that I live a small life. "Small" is my word. I find myself lately observing and contrasting my activity to those around me. Again I am reminded of a call I felt many, many years ago:
"you will be a monk in the world".
I continue to try and live that call out in my daily life, even when I am percieved as quite boring by some. I can only smile inside.
My life is not boring.
To me my view is vast.
Keeping my life small allows me to see with different eyes. And sometimes what I see is useless activity and useless striving.
I am happy in this small place.
I can see.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
How does transforming energy and not giving it back in kind take sin out of a community? Here is how a civil rights worker who endured racial hatred and violence while working for justice describes what happened to him. This is part of an interview with him:
“Isn’t that dangerous work you are doing?” “It’s true,” he said. “The hatred is vicious, and the punishment is violent.” “Have you ever been hurt yourself?” “Yes, I’ve been spit upon, beaten with fists, with pipes, with chains and left a bloody mess.” “But you are pretty big. Weren’t you able to protect yourself sometimes, to fight back?” “Yes. At first I did fight back. I made some of them sorry that they had attacked me. But then I realized that by fighting back I wasn’t getting anywhere. The hatred coming at me in those fists and clubs was bouncing right off me back into the air, and it could just continue to spread like electricity. I decided not to fight back. I would let my body absorb that hatred, so that some of it would die in my body and not bounce back into the world. I now see that my job in the midst of evil is to make my body a grave for hate.”
Rolheiser, Ronald (2014-03-11). Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity (p. 166). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
This is a much better undersanding of what it means to "...take away the sins of the world."
This does not imply a passive stance. There are certainly things we must stand up for, come against in some responsible way.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
The key to evolution is openness to the environment. Open systems can be influenced by the environment and change in relation to the environment. Closed systems cannot evolve, because they cannot be influenced by the environment; thus they seek to preserve their resources within. The systems theorist Erich Jantsch wrote that "to live in an evolutionary spirit means to engage with full ambition and without any reserve in the structure of the present, and yet to let go and flow into a new structure when the right time has come." 3 Do we as Christians live with an evolutionary spirit? It is my belief we do not; rather, we live in two world systems. In our everyday world we are open to the changes of culture in consumerism and technological progress (we have no problem keeping up with the latest technological gadgets), but in our theology and ecclesiology we live in the closed system of a pre-scientific, medieval church, the world of Plato, Aristotle, Dionysius, and Thomas. On the whole we Christians are more comfortable with scholastic thought and Aristotelian philosophy than with process theology or chaos theory. Jesuit scientist and mystic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was suspicious that Christianity makes its followers inhuman— that it becomes a series of rote doctrines devoid of life, pointing believers to a starry heaven away from the world. Christians are not conscious of their divine responsibilities, he claimed, but see Christian life as a series of observances and obligations, not the realization of the soul's immense power. 4 This leads to a static Christianity, a mechanization of Christian life whereby the language, symbols, and metaphors of theology and ecclesial life resist growth and change. As a result Teilhard said, Christians lose consciousness of their divine responsibility, which, in his view, is to evolve.
I can't say that I have a good intellectual grasp on Chardin, Plato, Aristotle, Dionysius and Thomas. I have never studied them formally or personally, just read quotes.
I do have a grasp on what it means to remained closed theologically.
A Good Sabbath to All.