Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bob Carlisle -- We Fall Down We Get Up...preparing our hearts for Lent


 I have been having a very rough week , perhaps month that has thrown me off my contemplative center like a ship in a storm that has lost its anchor. I think perhaps I had been drifting for sometime but did not really notice it until "the storm hit:". This song has spoken to me for years and I have not  heard it for a long time. It may in some strange way as I heard it first long before I had started on any kind of contemplative journey but desired the peace and non judgmental attitude of the monk in this song . I did in fact start walking towards the hope held within the ideal of this monastery and today I once again commit my life fresh to the narrow road of a follower of  Christ on a contemplative journey.I need the basics to hold me on course. I need my anchor. I need to not drift away from the safe harbor of my faith and find myself on the rocks in a storm. As a mature Christian I have tried to avoid what we usually list as the big sins..not without struggle and not without work. However one can become so perhaps focused on avoiding the biggies that we don't notice the mice constantly nibbling away the rope that holds our anchor and we find ourselves in spiritual trouble.


 We get confident that perhaps we can handle stuff in our own strength and we get busy doing things , pursuing goals that call us like fruit on the tree, and we have gotten lost on a path that leads us away from the cool evenings in the garden with out walk with God. There is within the pursuit of a quality education for women in current academia particularly in women's studies a seeking to replace the patriarchal God with a female one. The idea is that She would be more friendly and be kinder to us than the one we currently have. That is really the essence of radical spiritual feminism. I am not talking about thinking or even seeking to relate to some of the wonderful and tender nature of the divinity of God in Christ . I am discussing the idea that there is a tier of well recognized feminism spirituality  that desires we dig up the old female idols worship them instead and toss out the patriarchal male God as an unworkable Deity for women.

 I just spent four months in a course on Western Spirituality from a feminist perspective and although I got an A in the course the cost to me spiritually in the long run far more than an A could ever be worth. I am not saying I did not learn something, I did. But there were things I learned that that I would have been better not sniffing around turning up old ancient ruins to see what was the belief system behind. Maybe some people can do this. I love archeology and history so it was an added fruit on the tree. I like women's studies and working on a becoming a women's support group facilitator as a focus of my degree which is why I took the course in the first place. I wanted to be able to be more sensitive to the belief systems of other women I might encounter and this was believe me the whole spectrum from mainline faiths to way out there.

      Lent is coming. I am the prodigal returning home, running into the arms of my loving Father. There is no other place I would rather be. No adventures to new lands of spiritual quest I desire to follow. For me it is beyond church attendance or doing things that are church wide helpful. I can show up and still be drifting. I need to be part of the communion of faith and the communion of Christ. but beyond that is the personal relationship.

 I begin again with the basics . For me they are the basics, of scripture , a book of common prayer with a simple divine office and a psalter, quiet time with God, working on any restoration of family relationships I may have ignored while out on my journey and the simple basics of life. We fall down we get up, it is I suppose the purpose of  Lent coming up. That we look a fresh where we are in our relationship with God and we turn back from our own way to realign our lives in the footsteps of Christ. We fall down, we get up and monastery bells call us to prayer..