An eye focused on the horizon.
Awareness that there is something ahead,
something around the bend which will change the course,
change my direction.
A still sense that the ground is about to shake
and life will not be the same after.
A shake up.
A wake up.
A return to truth and what matters.
A return to a hard life hard - yet fulfilling
A willingness to give up, to sacrifice, to hunger.
Grounding myself in prayer, examining every odd yearning (and not just for food) and choosing to surrender that yearning rather than gratify it has had an empowering effect, and a clarifying one.
What I am reminded, repeatedly, is that time is a construct - that everything is happening simultaneously. Right now, I am writing at my computer. Right now, I am voting at my local school. Right now, Christ is dying on a cross. Right now, He is making a covenant and receiving a kiss. Right now, Napoleon is heading to Waterloo. Right now, George Washington is facing defeat for the umpteenth time. Right now, I am being needlessly cruel to someone. Right now I am being born. Right now I am 78 years old and grousing that my kids never visit me. Right now, Obama has won the election. Right now John McCain has won the election.
This is why prayer has power. In the quantum world, where everything is occurring all at once, prayer changes things. Sacrifice changes things. Wisdom knows this - it is why every religious tradition, Eastern or Western, encourages prayer and sacrifice - because this is how you pierce illusions.
Last week Pope Benedict XVI said: ”He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money builds the house of his life on sand”…money vanishes, it is nothing. All these things that appear to be real are in fact secondary. Only God’s words are a solid reality”.
Yes. Everything is happening, all at once. What appears to be solid and three-dimensional would does not even exist between its busy atoms. That which the world regards as most ephemeral, and least grasp-able, is actually the solid platform upon which all illusions spin.
About a year ago, out of the blue - a friend of mine - a social studies teacher who is politically “interested” but not active, and who does not go to church - said to me: “I get the feeling that George W. Bush is going to be the last American president of “old” America, and Benedict is going to be the last pope of the “old” Catholic church.” She had a sense of things cresting, of a cusp being reached.
Right now, a typesetter is laying down the words Dewey Wins! Right now, Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democrat nominee. Right now, George Washington is refusing a crown. Right now, Barack Obama is training ACORN workers. Right now, Margaret Sanger is preaching eugenics. Right now, a Pole is made Pope. Right now, Nero is watching Rome burn. Right now, Peter, that city’s first Bishop, is being crucified and turned upside down.
Right now, in prayer and in fasting, one may penetrate the illusions of the world and, touching eternity, impact them.
Obama may win this election. Obama may lose this election. McCain may win this election. McCain may lose this election. No matter what happens, we are entering a new era, and I believe everyone knows it. With the prayer and fasting, I am “in training” making myself ready for whatever comes, because whatever comes is going to be very different; it will jar us from all of our complacencies.
So, yes, I feel very peaceful right now, and my prayer and fasting continues. I hope you’ll consider joining me in this training, in whatever measure you may. And yeah, I’ll do a Vespers podcast, later.
Vanderleun sends over a link to what could almost be called a bookend to these thoughts.
The extraordinary instability in the world cannot long endure — and I fear we are ill-prepared in the extreme for the abyss which will follow. We have raised generations to believe they are entitled to ease, wealth, and prosperity; we have taught them through our easy divorces and casual shack-ups that commitment only lasts as long as it feels good, and that love is all about sex; we have failed to provide any framework of character, morality, integrity, and perseverance upon which to rest when all we have taken for granted — the wealth, the comfort, the false security, the easy irresponsibility — crumbles to the ground.
And just think, all of it brought down in a mere 50-or-so years. Don’t miss it.