Wednesday, May 2, 2007

lumière intérieure

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"No limit can be set on our progress towards God: first because no limitation can be put upon the beautiful, and secondly because the increase in our desire for the beautiful cannot be stopped by any sense of satisfaction."

~ Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Moses

When my journeying steps began to comprise movements within, I first thought my own heart to be a small, closed-in chamber of limitations. But then, in the monastic silence in Taizé, my experiences of physical travels were paralleled by descent to inner depths of which I had not been completely aware. The human heart and its longings need not have any limits, and boundaries dissolve with an attachment to the Divine. Strength seems best unforeseen, and I find this both when old rugged assumptions get thwarted, as well as when I am joyfully surprised by what I did not dare to expect. Even looking back at outdated unfortunate experiences of betrayal and incomprehensible misunderstandings, it is pleasing to consider the newer, stronger desire not to view any person as an enemy. Better still, to challenge myself to refrain from the very idea of labeling. I receive others' graciousness with immense gratitude of my own. The disproving moments are a wonder to me.

By discovering how the life of pilgrimage thrives beneath the visible surface, deep into the heart, from within I venture out. From those hidden inner spaces within which my soul can hear the Spirit, there is an emergence outward to the expanse of living. But surely the naïvété that presumes one simple solution for all problems is long past. We all know how trust is earned and then frequently tried even after proven. We need to grow to trusting faith, and through the winter I found how gradual my own sense of trust can be- whether to others or to my own self. Perhaps overly gradual. With strength those hesitations will be transformed, but indeed a sincere and bold transcendence is not a sugar-coated fantasy. More enduring than unreality, the new course steers into a sea of reconciliation, and it is now for me to emerge from the pettiness of self-burial in my self-centered perceived setbacks. Further to rise up from those existential anxieties that fictionally portray what is temporally set before me as all there ever will be in life. Still further, to leave behind such deceiving notions that draw me to believe my value as a human is determined by the flawed judgments of inexperienced people. Finally, to quit the defeatism implying that life's journey intrinsically deteriorates with the passage of time.

Being lit from within, a realistic courage stokes an enduring ember. The challenge to be vigilant is well worthwhile, and is becoming increasingly effortless. But truly the nature of vigilance is that of awareness, of conscious recollection and a necessary remembrance of what I left behind. All the while the journey turns in the direction of renewed hopes. If I found out how discouragement drains out strength, right at the juncture between defeat and hopefulness, indeed it is peaceful abiding that nurtures confident vision. The tomb is empty, and the ethos of defeatism must be deemed unacceptable. To be realistically resolute is to comprehend the verity that although obstacles are inevitable that is still not enough reason to give up to encroaching currents of cynicism. Such opposites dwelling side-by-side strike an astounding contrast, yet the soul can thrive by reaching right through the encrusted barricades of apathy, and toward the limitless.

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