Friday, April 16, 2010

Roaring Against The Tide

I believe in the democratic process. I also, in affirming this belief, have no doubt that the democratic process, in a profligate society vainly disposed to its own moral and ethical demise, will continue to reflect and impose its desires on a dwindling minority that labors to hold onto the hope that rests securely only in the healthy realm created in and fostered by righteous thinking and living.

It’s hard for me to think of these post-modern times without personally concluding that something of a cataclysmic era has fallen upon us. The restraints of former times seem to have largely passed from favor in the eyes of the public majority. Western society, once a bastion of morality has, at least in the limited opinion of this one tired simpleton, managed to successfully become a licentious free-for-all.

I didn’t ask for this perceived external environment. It is, however, the one that I find surrounding me, the one in which I must daily labor to work out and integrate the faith born and growing in my breast. It’s not an easy proposal. As Milt Grannum once said as the opening proposition in a sermon, perception makes a difference. The way we perceive things will have a definite effect on the way we go about living our lives.

What I perceive as a cataclysm in modernity motivates me. There are times when I find myself verbally and vocally roaring against the noise created by the post-modern tide. My own roaring involvement as a member of this post-modern larger society, though at times seemingly purposeful and necessary, most often has a way of generating its own prideful and distracting self-punishing afflictions.

Peace and contentment reside at the heart of Benedict’s model of monastic spirituality. The old Saint tells me to avoid situations that create strife and contention (RB Chapter 69). My own societal roaring creates a personal scene of interior strife and contention, sets me on edge, and robs me of the peace and contentment that grows best in solitude and simplicity.