SATURDAY OF LENT WEEK 3
Taking stock of our priorities is never a waste of time. But where do we start? From the bottom up, the ground on which the house of life is built, and from the heart from which all growth comes: relationship.
Relationships are the sacred ground of human life. We have to take off our shoes when we turn our attention to them: to be simple, humble and truthful. Are we nurturing the happy, sustaining relationships, the friendships and intimacies we may be blessed with? Or do we take them for granted and lose touch with their inner life? And, to be realistic, if we don’t have the relationships we want and need, or if we have damaged relationships, some in crisis or on life-support, we should see that these too are sacred Just because they are suffering doesn’t mean they are not sacred. They need attention. Have we withdrawn, are we running away, are we blaming rather than forgiving? Like plants, relationships take time, pass through seasons in order to die and, somehow or other, be restored.
There is no relationship in life that is not rooted in absolute reality. We call this God. It is not mathematical, or philosophical but personal. Being the person we are and relating to others, depends upon insight into the personal nature of reality. Without a living relationship with the living God (named or unnamed) we have only dreams, memories and reflections.
Which is why any proper life-inventory involves an assessment of our spiritual life. Here, relationships with others, in God who is the common ground, converge with our self-knowledge and self-acceptance. How convenient for the ego if we could compartmentalise these without the painful awareness that we were being false to all of them.
Spiritual life is nourished by times of practice, thinking or studying as we can best, selfless work, and sharing the journey with others by exchanging support and teaching. We receive by giving and sometimes we give by receiving. For the meditator, the practice of sitting in silence is the key, the litmus test, that shows us where we really are: seeing life as a spiritual journey or seeing ‘spirituality’ merely as an element in the mix on our terms, something to find time for and the first thing to drop when we get too busy.
And so a life inventory highlights the actual values that make up life’s meaning: this is the most important thing. Are we celebrating what we should celebrate, grieving what needs to be mourned for, sharing everything that we can? If so we will be touched by the peace that passes all understanding, the power that leads us through the many deaths of life and the divinely foolish Hope that dispels fear and self-negation. This is more than enough to get us through the Corona crisis.
We are preparing a programme you might find helpful. Visit our international website (www.wccm.org) and your national website. Here, for example, all audio-visual media are collected in one place: http://www.wccm.org/media-page/ .
Lenten Reflections 2020