What I needed to Hear

I go to church. I am a mixed-breed of Catholicism, Buddhism, Humanist, have studied Judaism, some Hindu, and well, now I go to a Presbyterian church.  I’m the kind of Christian that read (and will re-read) the book, “Misquoting Jesus”.  The home I grew up in, we said ‘grace’ before every family meal, we went to Mass (love the singing) and taught to say prayers before sleeping  and I had my own personal guardian angel. The odd part of learning “the one true faith” in my home was that I had a father who would remind his children that “Jesus was Jewish”  and “The Friars converted the Jesuits”.  (If you don’t get that, just keep going.) 
I am unorthodox and non-dogmatic.  Yet I sing in a choir because I love to sing in choirs, and well, the pastor of this church captured my intelligence and imagination with his sermons. And without sounding arrogant, no small thing as I am not easily impressed.  Today as part of the sermon he quoted Thomas Merton:
“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence.
Merton said this well over 50 years ago. Before the 24-7 news cycle, cell phones, email, tweets,  and FB. The reason I needed to hear this quote, to be so struck by it this morning that I had to find it, is I struggle with social media. . . it’s a curse and a blessing. I want to believe that my posts may have meaning to someone, but I am only fooling myself. I want my friends who have views opposite of me get to just agree to disagree and leave it be.
I need to make peace with myself with this because  while I am the one putting pressure on myself, I do it because whatever work I do, it is from home. I crave human interaction, with a person who is not my husband.  Yet all the sorrows of the world, all the things I cannot do: save puppies, take in strays, protest GMO’s, health care, etc, come flooding into my day with the one touch.  With that one touch, I am entering into a kind of violence which saps my creative energy and on a bad day, squelches my hope.
With one touch, I see a photo of my sister whose happiness makes me grin. I follow a friend’s pregnancy. I get to send sympathy. I see my grandson’ face.  I need to make peace with this all.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s