Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Long Conversion in Progress

I have wanted to write the following for a long, long time. When you check my blog, or read “Soul Searching”(Vesuvius Press), you will find in bold headlines, The Battle Field of The Soul.  This is meant to give some insight into what you and I have to deal with as we make our return journey to the loving womb of our mercy-full, and loving God.  As we well know, it is not a hop, skip, and a jump.  It is, to use an Irish expression, a very heavy slog.  For those who are both chosen and blessed to be in Alcoholics Anonymous, the road is a trudge to a happy destiny.  It is a slog, a trudge we are all challenged to make. There are no exceptions, how I have often wished I could be an exception. (Fat chance!!!)

 I am reminded that not even God’s only Son, Jesus the Christ, was saved from this awe-full, mysterious, and sometimes frightening experience, this frightening reality.  The Man from Galilee, was not saved the pain, agony, and gut wrenching participation in what we now call The Paschal Mystery.  The mystery we are baptized into, and spent the rest of our lives dealing with, coming to terms with its reality in our daily living.  Do we ever come to an acceptance of the reality?  From my own experience I have to say not for this hard headed, and sometimes hard hearted, Irish man.  All I have done is grown, through grace, in my acceptance of what it means to be “A spiritual being immersed in the human condition.” For longest time, I thought I was human first, then spiritual second.  Like so much of what I thought, and was taught, that was not the truth.  There was so much I had to let go.  I had to be converted.  

Now, looking back I see my life's journey has been that of one long conversion.  A process I pray will never stop, no matter how pain-full it may be.  Conversion is so threatening to the ego, and to egocentric human beings. (That means all of us!!!)  The road to conversion is full of fear, that is so many of us recoil from it. We are challenged to let go of the familiar, the comfortable, so as to journey into the unknown, in unfamiliar territory.  It is a journey from certainty into uncertainty.  Who in their right mind would choose this crucifixion?  Make no mistake, this process of conversion is a real crucifixion, followed by a real death.  As Catholic Christians we have been hopepunked.  We do not believe death is the end, rather death is the doorway, the threshold into a new and a more vibrant way of living.  We do not choose the journey rather we are chosen for the journey.  We are graced for the journey, always given what we need, not what we want.  In the slow painful coming to this realization, hopepunked is a new word I have learned in my old age.  Alexandra Rowland is the writer to whom I am indebted for this enlivening, and enlightening word.  It is subversive and rebellious to embrace the contradiction , that in each and every death, is sown the seeds of new life.  We are then, the gardeners entrusted with the awe-full, mysterious responsibility in which preservation, nourishment and, encouragement demands.

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