Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The world is my cloister...

So, I know you have guessed by the return of the Stations of the Cross that we are now in Ordinary Time. I think this is the most strangely named of the religious seasons. Ordinary? In the Gospel reading so this year there will be healings, miracles, preaching about the Kingdom of God; it is not really ordinary is it? Weird would be a better word. Weird Time.

The title of this post is reflective of my recent facebook status. I put it there because I had experienced a day of people expressing the thought that I am incredibly lucky person. It is true I am, but the truth of it does not lie in the luck, but in the blessings, and none of them are deserved. Things could easily be different. When I wake up tomorrow they might be different.

When I think about my life, and mostly I do this in the childish terms of  'what would I like to be when I grow up?', I generally have an idea that this decision, although completely freely mine, has a right answer. Obviously, I do not know, and am not sure I ever will, what the right answer is. In fact, I might be completely wrong about there being a right answer at all. But the sensation remains. This has an immediate effect on the way I make decisions. I tend to think about them for a long time, not prevaricating, but in way that demands both my attention and God's.  You see, as a theist, God has to have something to do with my life.  God knows what though.

'The world is your oyster' is what people say when I tell them about my plans. It is true, anything is possible. But oysters tend to remind me of a certain yuppie culture concerned with money, status and power: snobbishness, really. That is what I dread. The radical truth, to my way of thinking is that anything is possible, but more so when you talk about God. I have a passion for rhyme, and so changed oyster to cloister. I think this suits my temperament better. The world is where I operate, and it is where I pray. The world is where I best encounter God, live out human relationships and come to an understanding of myself and the purpose of my existence. Anything is possible, anything might change. Oysters come and go, but the world as my cloister, that is here to stay.

The picture with this blog comes from Into Great Silence, a very great film about the depth and necessity of cloisters.

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