Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sacrifice and Sanctity

I have a dear Catholic friend who is filled with joy in The Holy Spirit, and is helpless to keep from sharing this joy. She sings it in her home, in her garden, in the classrooms in which she teaches. I can't be in her presence without being inspired.

Yet many times, when I hear her speak or read her spiritual insights, I am greatly saddened. She speaks of people who came into her life with a new path to The Spirit and she speaks of people who have been recognized by clerics and others of her society as holy, but she doesn't sing of The Spirits of the people who have loved her most dearly for the longest time, her own family and friends. Is this because they do not share her prayer groups or religious beliefs?

I think it is because so many believe that we are not to honor our own friends and families simply for the love and devotion with which they share their Spirits with us. Is this because it may lead to pridefulness, and all Bible readers know that "Pride commeth before the fall?" They seem to believe that sharing our essences is simply what is expected of family and true friends; to acknowledge it somehow takes away the sacrificial nature of their gifts. Or is it that we are afraid that to speak of our own families with such admiration will seem prideful? Or do we fear that, by speaking of our families with such graitude, we will fill others with covetous thoughts?

A woman I knew, who was in a group of wives to discuss what was wrong with their marriages, reported that the group leader said to the group, "If you women found the perfect man, you probably wouldn't know what to do with him." If we see our salvation in terms of sacrifice, it is unlikely that we will be comfortable when we feel absolute joy on a human level. In fact, we will continue to seek pain to sanctify ourselves.

We also seem reluctant to admit to others the unabashed joy that the sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste of our spouses and children bring us. Aren't these the greatest gifts that we are given on this earth, experiencing our own Divine natures through the physical presence (and presents) of those who are part of us?

I believe that this is the essence of what is wrong with so much of our organized religion, the focus on sacrifice instead of gratitude, celebration, and graceful acceptance.

1 comment:

  1. 'tis a shame when one feels they must EARN God's love and forgiveness. Also a shame that we are not smart enough to know that: WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH OR KNOW ENOUGH TO EARN our Salvation.