Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is My Life Beautiful?

Is My life Beautiful?, a new book by a Korean Benedictine Sister, has been reviewed in the Catholic Times.  So Heui-suk has lived the religious life for over 40 years and now has written her first book. She laments that the word 'wonder' is rarely heard. She feels that most of us don't see and thus don't experience the beauty that is all around us. She wanted to answer the question she posed for herself in her book: is the life we are now living beautiful?

All life is a mystery, she says. A crystallization of love, as she described the mystery--a mass of beauty and holiness. It's not our job to rid ourselves of this beauty, she says, but to enjoy it. And the I that I am, she tells herself, should be, first of all, the one who should be living this beautiful life.

Her experiences have been many; much of it becoming the basis for her book, including her missionary work in Africa and India. She is now responsible for a center for refugees from North Korea.

Sister would like all of us to see the beauty of life as our calling, as a vocation. The society we live in today has much distortion and perversity, which is the reason she concentrates on nature. Even though we have done, because of greed, much damage to nature, it renews itself and by self-cleansing has much to teach us about our own renewal.

Humanity of course is part of nature. But we can misunderstand our rightful role by treating nature in any way we please, forgetting that our bodies will return to nature, becoming food for the tiny creatures inhabiting the earth.  My life on this earth is just the briefest moment in time, she reminds us, compared to the age of the universe. Our lives on this earth should be, she says, a dance to life, and we should be enjoying each moment of the dance.

To live the beautiful life, the sister believes that pain is necessary, that experiencing pain helps all of us to achieve this kind of life. Living the beautiful life means we have to practice love of our neighbor, and when we see what is wrong in ourselves and the world, we should want to correct it and do what is right. We should, she says, be living in the center of the world and doing all that is possible to have all enjoy the beautiful earth that we have been given.

She feels that when we have the right relationship with nature and see our place in the totality of life, we will have the proper relationship with all our brothers and sisters. We are called to live a  life of sharing.  And especially those with faith are called to this life of sharing, there should be no hesitation on our part to run right to the center of the world,  where we are to live this life of love.

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