Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lots of rest, and a new word. Retreat 2013.

Loyola House in Guelph never lets me down. I guess that means God never lets me down. I guess that also means God is able to feed me as he so much wants to do. He can do that because I am hungry and here I know it. Easy to lose the awareness of what I need, when the demands of the everyday world seem to be, ‘be strong’, ‘look competent and confident’. No matter what. The god thing. You know.
It is so nice, so freeing, to claim the reality of my poverty. The poverty that comes from knowing that it is in my weakness that I get my strength. Not a platitude, just an awareness that anything I have is a gift. That my call is to be fully human, not falsely divine. God enters space that is emptied out of all that ‘fulness’. The Pharisees were ‘full.’ No room for God whatsoever. Please.

Being fully human and being aware like this, and being emptied out and poor means accepting my reality in life, not constantly raging against it. Yes there are problems to be solved, conflicts to be dealt with. But gently. Different ballgame.

And the key to it all? Staying in relationship with Christ. Not like a tourist. A pilgrim.

All of this is familiar. The gift is to be able to renew, reaffirm, recommit. That's what retreat does for me.

Finally - the new word. From Ron Rollheiser in Forgotten Among the Lilies. The word – for men and moment of today’s culture – is ‘re-virginizing.’ Love it. He means that our culture has become so entitled, that we take anything we want, at anytime, anywhere. Taboos mean nothing. We wait for nothing. The sacred gets defined out of existence. We then get bored by it all since we have or can get it all, and so we have to jack up the stimulation or else depression and anxiety set in. ‘Re-virginizing’ means developing restraint in the face of what is not ours to have; and rediscovering delight with what is ours to have. The sacred becomes sacred again, and we call sin, sin – not another rationalization or neurosis or entitlement. Impossible to do? Yes it is if we play the god thing and get ‘full.’ No it isn’t if we stand poor before our God.

1 comment:

Kennedy Joseph said...

Nice reflection Phil. I especially like the comment of our society and the audacity of taking what we need when we need it. In Luke's Gospel I love the the collector's simple, "have mercy on me, a sinner"

Deacon Joe Kennedy