A time to stop and face our lives
For me, this simple sentence tells me a lot about our reigning pope; he truly understands the human condition from deep personal experience. He revealed to all his deep humanity, his inner pain and loneliness and deep urgent longings for union. So yes to be human is to have a deep inner life that most of us keep hidden from others and at times through repression, from ourselves. Though it will be manifested in other ways that can cause deep pain and havoc in ones life, through addictions, depression and in our relationships with others that may end badly……for we all have urgent longings of one kind or another, but to project them on to others can be unbearable for the one who has to carry them.
So lent can be a time to face this inner pain that seeks attention and care. I find it interesting that today people give a great deal of attention to the physical and emotional and intellectual aspects of their lives, but more often than not just give lip service to the deeper component of what it means to be human. Christian have a specific way to deepen their relationship with their souls, or spirits, it is through Christ Jesus. So lent is a way to seek deeper understanding of their faith, to step out of the shallow lives that many are forced to live in order to simply survive. It is a call to slow down a bit, and to give some time to the development of a deeper relationship to what is actually more central to their existence, their relationship to what is eternal, to God.
Christians today cannot be carried by a ‘cultural faith’. Cultural imperatives, what is impressed upon us through our news, TV programs and advertisements are meant to brain wash us into submission so that we can be controlled for commercial and political reasons. Faith, if studied and pondered can help us to stand back and assess what we are being told in how to live out our lives. If we do not have a strong inner core we will be tossed about on the waves of cultural fads that are often harmful to the humanity of those who follow them.
As human beings, no matter what we believe, we are all responsible to use the mind and intelligence that has been gifted to us. Each of us will have a unique way to live out of our essential inwardness and core. For those who actively seek a loving relationship with God this could lead away from the direction that is taken by our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run. We are called to be a leaven in society, not its judges or rulers. For power corrupts. Those of us who are Catholics understand this for we have a long history of corrupt popes, though the majorities have been good and holy men. Today we Catholics are learning of the harm that is done when the essential reason of the Church’s mission is forgotten. Once the center does not hold, which for us is Jesus Christ, then fragmentation, corruption and outright evil sets in. My faith does not rest on men, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So to use Lent to ponder ones faith, allows us the freedom to not allow others to dictate to us by their failures on what we believe and seek to live out, no we look to the center, to Christ Jesus.
Edited by markdohle, 09 March 2014 - 02:17 PM.