Monday, June 13, 2016

Best foot forward?

I have stumbled across a super book called Travelling Light. Increasingly, Catholics are providing my spiritual succour. Curve ball.

It provides a meditation or Breather for every day of the month, to use over and over again as the year passes.

Today's - Transform the Negative Cycle - tackled dealing with evil. Which we all do every single day. The world and most of its people either deny the presence of evil or, when hit by it, throw it back at someone else. (See Katie Hopkins.)

The aim of a faithful life is to learn to absorb the negative, swallowing its deadly impact into ourselves, so that it can be reborn. 

I love this. But it was the second point that struck me most: we can only do this 'swallowing' to the extent we are ready. If we take Christ as our example, we read that even he repeatedly avoided charged situations until he felt his 'time had come'.

We need to know ourselves well enough to see when to ingest the poison and when to refuse the cup offered by that deathly person, situation or place. Reconciliation and redemption may always be our best hope ..... but sometimes, we must wait for somebody else to usher them in.

I find this terrifically helpful when considering whether to step up with courage or wait and perhaps retreat. And that, I think, is the ever-present feature in my life's succession of choices!

How do I react when someone says something bitter, ignorant or hateful? Speak or let it go? How do I deal with the resurfacing of irritations with people I know? Address them or let them slide? Should I pursue challenging avenues of activity that may compromise my equilibrium, or let them pass? Am I called to remain with organisations or people whom I naturally oppose or walk away from them?

No doubt the road ahead will always be a mystery. But perhaps it is not too much to hope for that, with each milestone, I will be less of a stranger to myself and better able to choose between a rest and a few extra miles.

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