Thursday, August 27, 2015

Life in God

Vacare Deo ( to be free for God) a Latin expression,  is the title of the column: View from the Ark, in the Catholic Times. A monk of the Benedictine Order wants us to reflect on what is meant by this injunction form the past. We need  holy leisure and we have less of it with our  busy life.

The monastery at this time of the year gets many visitors for retreats both individual and group retreats. The word retreat in both Korean and English means to leave the busy life and retreat to a place of quiet to spend time with God.  Adults and children both are busy  with TV, smart phones, they have  little time to think.

Why is everybody so  busy? Is it not that one feels uncomfortable in doing nothing?  Fear that we will fall behind others in our money orientated society is one of the reasons for the busyness. We are caught in the trap of competition.  What are the results?  We see it in the indexes for  the present and future: in the present suicides, and in the future the birth rate. The first is our present reality, and the second a sign for the future.

Life is becoming difficult.  We have a word for the three things to avoid: no romance, no marriage and no children.The feeling of pain from frustration and loss is great. We do not know where we are going but we are running to get there.

We need to stop and look around and begin again. We need to find the meaning for rest--a long breath-- a breathing in and out and realizing the simplicity of life. Our breathing will move us on to see the simplicity of our lives. Stopping means to rest,  moving from the complicated to the simple, from the non-essential to the essential  from the external to the internal,

Where is the Christian to find this rest?  It is not only the wealthy that can enjoy rest: often they are the busiest.  We do not find rest only in nature or in a monastery. Rest is not an external place but in ourselves, where we give God the chance to work within us. God is always working within us but we are too busy to reflect about  his presence or interested.

The founder of  L'Arch Jean Vanier  has these words of wisdom: "We don't realize the spring  we have in us. We know the intelligence in us and what we can  make-- emotions, craving and impulses  but the warm spring that gives us life, and the  God who  gives us his love we don't know." 

Prayer is what makes this presence felt, when we say we are too busy to pray what we mean is we don't want to  pray. Our whole existence is  present in God. When we are living a troublesome life and  are fatigued  God enters and gives us relief and leads us to rest, and the result is that our whole existence is in God.

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