Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Sharing the Lenten journey with St. David (3)

The little things of St. David which are informing and guiding my Lent are not so little after all.   Lent for me  has become intensely focused on power over these past few weeks.  David's way was in essence about realising that God's love is not about power over the world, so much as becoming aware of God's love  - as an energy  as Teilhard would have it - in all things.  The belief that power over God's creation - the capacity to rule and bend things and people  to our will - is perhaps the most dangerous of all  sins.  Power over the things of this world is never the answer: this is the logic that Jesus wholly rejects.  Lent is about re-asserting our power over ourselves rather than over others.  It is a time when we take a hard look at those aspects of our lives which have power over us.  We will inevitably as frail and fallible human beings become corrupted by the power we have over other human beings and over  what St. Francis reminds us are our brothers and sisters in the created world.  And we can also be corrupted by our urges and desires which have power to rule  over our hearts and minds.  A pure heart is formed by increasing our capacity to exercise self-control - power over ourselves.  Without this ability to harness our power of self-control we can never be fully open to the Holy Spirit and to the word of God.  We can never ( as Teilhard expressed it)  harness, for God,  the energy of love.   But we don't lose control of ourselves just like that: we lose control incrementally in little steps and in all the little things we do  and say, or in all the little things  we do not do and do not say.  We don't become bad with a bang, but with a whimper.  That is why St. David tells us that attending to the small things is so important: we lose power over ourselves bit by bit.  People with power become corrupted bit by bit.  We are not born with a heart of stone: but, bit by bit it can harden until it is impervious to living water.    Perhaps this is why simple devotions - such as centering ones life on the heart as a symbol of the person of Christ  and focusing on the spirituality of the heart -  can be so very powerful.  A simple devotion  - or attraction - to the spirituality of the Heart of Christ  keeps us mindful of the little things that serve to  pull us closer to  God. The Sacred Heart tells us everything Christ wants us to understand about God's love for us and the whole purpose of creation itself.

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