Sunday, May 16, 2010

Soul Drought

God is not a God of coercion. He is the Great Lover wooing souls unto him.

If the world wants to go to blazes, that’s the world’s prerogative. The world has that right. I don’t know why it would want to exercise that right. Salvation is however a matter of choice and I have to be secure enough in my own self to let others choose their own life paths and eternal destinies.

The most serious global warming in our age is not that arena that concerns itself with the average daily temperatures monitored by weather stations and measured with modern digital thermometers. It is the arena represented by the instability in the moral climate of the age. It’s not just the poles that are rapidly deteriorating and melting away. I make no apologies in thinking the moral fabric of society is rotting and falling apart.

As for me, my soul is thirsty, like our gardens in need of a generous rain. I know the temporary solution for the drought in these small fields that supply us with food for our table. Turn on the faucet and let the life-giving water flow through the hose.

My own personal soul-drought, a condition exacerbated by the realities of living in a stress generating workaday world and by the emotional dimensions associated with living in relationship with people out of step with the Gospel Ideal, is not so easily tended to. It’s not as simply remedied as the problem affecting our gardens.

The daily rhythm of the tedium designed into St. Benedict’s guidelines for integrating the Gospel Ideal is not a matter of rigid performance for the sake of monastic appearance. It is as purposeful as keel ballast on a sailing vessel. It keeps the top up and the bottom down when the going gets rough and the wind blows hard against the sails. It sets the stage for longevity and stability not only within monastic enclosures but works remarkably well in the here and now of life in the world outside the monastery.

The “labor of obedience” (RB Prologue 2) calls for more than simply and occasionally turning on a proverbial faucet, something that I admittedly discover myself to be too often guilty of.