Saturday, May 4, 2013

Greed...The...Saboteur...Of...Dreams

Even though I am retired from the administrative side (boy do I thank God for that),I still have the privilege of interacting with a number of individuals. These are spiritual beings, who like myself, have that moment to moment struggle with our immersion in the human condition. I am, very slowly, getting a grasp of the disconcerting truth articulated by J.Metz, "We are (spiritual beings) born human, and spend our whole life coming to understand what that word human, means". This immersion, we are all sharing in, to my mind, is it not a royal pain? (I better stop there!!!!!) As a result of this immersion, do we do the things that are unhealthy for us, and fight the things that are healthy? Are you with me on this? If you are with me then we are all in great company. A saint by the name of Paul had the self same difficulty. He had to face that self same endless struggle. He came out fine, in the end, did he not? So we can relax, we are in great company. In his struggle, Paul was reminded where the real source of strength comes from. So, we too, must grow into that same acceptance of where the source of our strength lies. Acceptance is a process, and a slow one at that. I have to admit that the place I end up in is always better than the place where I began. This does not make the letting go any easier. I read that we are born knowing how to hang on, we have to learn to let go. That "letting go" is the essence of the spiritual life, and that is why is not very attractive to the ego. My ego is all about, power, property and prestige. Looking good in the eyes of the world, while all the time having to deal with that essential loneliness which is part and parcel of the human experience. This encounter, with that loneliness, if it allowed, is gut wrenching. That is why we run away from that inner loneliness, and set our eyes on that alleviate, that which we wish to avoid at any cost. We will do anything pay any price, go to any external extreme, rather than face ourselves as spiritual beings who have inherited a broken humanity. This is where we have to deal with the presence of greed in our own lives, in the lives of others, and in society. Frank Buckman has written: "There is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not for everyone's greed". Look at the price we have paid over the last number of years because of the havoc greed has wrecked on our individual lives, the lives of our families, and the life of our country. Insatiable greed has been the root cause of so much destruction. It is essential for us to face the presence of greed in our lives, otherwise we will never come to enjoy the asking, the dream has for us. This dream God has to live and share with us is? He/She wishes to meet us in the ordinary not the extraordinary. That is a big blow to our egos. Our Gracious, Living God, has chosen all that is ordinary to be place where this mysterious event happens. It is in the so-called ordinary person, place, and event God's dream is realized. In this way, there is tremendous dignity to all that is authentically human. We also have to face the fact that this aisling (dream) is not a reality. We also have to face the fact that even though it is God's dream it is not always realized. Not even God gets all She/He wants. Wow!!!, the power of free will. God's great blessing and curse. So many of our dreams are sabotaged. We are, at times, the saboteur. There are those who cannot deal with peace, joy, contentment, serenity, security, etc. It is a challenge that must be faced by not a few of our fellow travelers. Look around and you will see that person on your daily walk. Some of us have to the challenge of that person dwelling within the depths of who we are. Constant Vigilance is required to keep the saboteur from its destructive mission. John O'Donoghue, in Anam Cara writes the following about Greed: He says that greed is one of the powerful forces in the modern world. It is sad that a greedy person can never enjoy what they have, because they are haunted by what they do not yet possess. This can refer to land, books, companies, ideas, money, or art. (I would like to suggest that in the realm of religion this applies too. Unfortunately and the price is Endless.) The motor and the agenda of greed is always the same. Joy is possession, but sadly possession is ever restless; it is an inner insatiable hunger.....It can never engage presence..This greed is now poisoning the earth and impoverishing its people. Having has become the sinister enemy of being. Being and presence for me go together. We have to work at being still, to engage what is right here, right now. In this moment all that I need is right here. There is nothing missing, in God's way of seeing. For us we have to make the journey from could be, should be, ought to be, etc. to the wisdom my God, Who is All in All, is present Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What more can there be? We also have to guard against those who look at you through greedy eyes. You will never be "enough" for them. No matter what you do more is expected, or subtle demanded. The greedy eye can appear to be so "nice". Say no to that expectation and there is heck to pay. One is also to be so careful when it comes to ministry. Good boundaries are necessary so that you are not stretched to the point of burnout, and breaking. The subtleties of greed are many. All are destructive. Let us not sabotage the dream God has for us. in this way we are not too likely to be a saboteur to the dream God has for others. There is a new world being created, in you and in me. The Creative Love is bring a newness to all of creation. Not living out of possessiveness will free us to be ready to embrace the new, as it is slowly revealed in each moment. Each moment is to be embraced-reverenced, and celebrated as our encounter with the Paschal Mystery? Then, horrors of horrors for the ego, Let Go.