Saturday, March 30, 2013

Forgive me and help me

Good Friday services are quiet and dark, no matter the lighting. To fit the mood, last night's music included old pieces which I imagined being sung by medieval voices within echoing stone walls.

It is natural to feel guilty on Good Friday, and so that's where I went. I forced myself to continue exploring my own personal sin-monkey, the grand poobah: pride. Unfortunately my pride takes the most ugly and inexcusable form: it is spiritual.

When I first began this blog I wrote with conviction that the view of spirituality I was exploring was the right one. I thought I had discovered the fullness of faith, and was simply entering into it and trying to share it. The beauty and majesty of what I studied kept me in a state of breath-constricting wonder. All I wanted to do was help others enter into the same place. To share the joy and "rightness".

My desire to share the beauty was good. But the pride I took in my stance was not good.

It is now several years later. The awe continues, but the theology has shifted. Considerably. The Catholicity that I find so gorgeous is under review. Not dismissed, not tarnished, but evaluated. God set me on a road of such strange beauty and love that I have no choice but to revise my understanding.

That revision remains under way. Who knows where it will eventually lead. So far it has led to an increased focus on Christ's teaching of love, and in particular, on His words about the Law.

I find myself engaging in a new form of debate, from a position polar opposite to the one I formerly held.

What I've discovered this Holy Week is that I'm still a judger of right. I'm still full of pride in knowing that opposing Christian views are "wrong".

My focus is now on the love of God rather than on the law of God, and that's good. But my judgementalness is still there, and that's not good. I still yell "Crucify him!" with the rest of the crowd.

Please Lord, help me not to be a pharisee. On your most holy day of resurrection, forgive me and help me.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

At today's vestry meeting we pondered the idea of being salt and light. This time, I read a particular phrase differently than I had before:

Matthew:5-15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Previously I've just envisioned a basket being plopped on top, and the light being blocked. But for the first time I realized how ridiculous it would be to do what is described. Not simply because it would nullify the purpose of the lamp and waste a precious resource, but because it would be downright dangerous.

What happens if you put a basket over a flame?

Depending on the weave, the fire could go out. There might not be enough oxygen to keep it going. But if the flow of O2 is good the basket could easily catch fire. And the house, which should instead have been filled with light, could be destroyed.

If your salt loses it's saltiness, it is thrown away. Trampled. Returned to dust. Lost.

If your light is hidden under a bushel, your entire existence can be put in jeopardy. Turned to ash. Lost.

So don't do it. Don't hide your light.


Dance in being.

Add saltiness, and live.