Wednesday, February 6, 2008



A continuous experience of the Divine

How is it one goes about experiencing this type of Radical clarity, the kind we find manifested in the G-d figures: Jesus, Gandhi, etc…? I like my wife and many others in this chaotic world come from a Christian tradition, we adhere to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Paul Waldell writes in his book, Happiness and the Christian Moral Life, “In the Christian life our primary teacher in the way of happiness is Christ. He is our mentor; we are his disciples; and it is by observing him, listening to him, and learning from him, following his teachings and imitating his example, that we grow in happiness” (Waldell, p. 17). In other words, the ethos of my religion expounds if I am to find happiness; if am to discover joy, I find it in imitating Jesus’ life. It is in Him I become knowledgeable of what it means to become fully human.

The Christian faith of my ancestors, Augustine, Tertullian, Merton, St. Paul and Francis of Assisi brings about the radical clarity “we” the children of the divine Yahweh search for. It is capable of unleashing a life of radical simplicity and separatism.

It is lent; a time to dwell on what it means to follow the political, cultural, religious critic: Jesus of Nazareth. It is in this time that I plan to document my own attempt at cleansing my self from a world rooted in “isms”, racism, sexism, militarism, etc… It is a time to quite my self and pay attention to the divine presence of G-d that radiates in the concrete jungles of America and the war torn streets of Iraq. It is a time to recommit my self to suffering in solidarity with the poor of El Salvador and Appalachia. It is a time to stand against the corporate monsters who continually rape the middle and lower classes by implanting big business (Wal-Mart; McDonalds) into the ghetto and rural areas of this world. It is a time to be like Christ.

I leave with a word from Merton’s work Know Man Is an Island:

There must be a time of day when the man/woman who makes plans forgets his /her plans, and acts as if he/she had no plans at all. There must be a time of day when the man/woman who has to speak falls very silent. And his/her mind forms no more propositions, and he/she asks himself: Did they have a meaning? There must be a time when the man/woman of prayer goes to pray as if it were the first time in his life he had ever prayer, when the man/woman of resolutions puts his resolutions aside as if they had all been broken, and he/she learns a different wisdom: distinguishing the sun from the moon, the stars from the darkness, the sea from the dry land, and the night sky from the shoulder of a hill (Merton, p. 260: Emphasis he/she, his/hers, man/woman is mine. Merton has a tendency like all Christian men to be rather sexist).


i am sven said...

i gave up lent for lent.

Chad Rinehart said...

How's it goin, man. I heard you guys were goin to chicago next weekend? i'll call yah.