Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm b-a-a-a-a-ck again. . .

and wondering where to take this effort. I pick up bits and pieces and practices to share, but there's so much more real content to explore, isn't there?

Just found It's a ministry of the British Jesuits
and definitely worth a look.

I've never written for an anonymous audience before. It's a little terrifying. In a classroom or church setting I enjoy the wonderful "loop" of communication that appears as restless minds and bodies engage challenging ideas with me. Faces tell me whether they've "got" it or now. And all questions are valid. Like Rainer Maria Rilke, I love and cherish the questions. The more difficult the better. I'm not interested in answers any longer. They, like so much of my religious training, comes from the past. And, in my humble view, the past ain't gonna get us to the future.

Years ago I was outside church working the crowd after a Sunday morning liturgy where I'd been homilist. Over the rustle of voices I heard a woman's voice call my name in a thick Richmond, VA, accent. It was that slow intonation that women of her generation and stature saved when they wanted to get their son's attention for something specific. (There's a different one for husbands I later learned.) It was clear Betsy had something that needed my immediate attention.

"That was one of the best sermons I've ever heard." Pause. Her tone was exasperated. Then she started to pound on my chest with her index finger. "You'd have made a wonderful bishop, you know. But you simply won't follow the rules."

That's pretty much the summation of my life and spiritual journey. I won't follow the rules. My years in a religious community were a disaster. I will respect a tradition as long as I'm allowed to question it. Perhaps that's why the solitary life is so appealing to me.