March 2014 is almost a century distant from August 1914, but one reorganizes some of the same forces at play in the Crimea as the Ukraine devolves, as one saw in August 1914. Admittedly, the world is totally different now, but it is also too much the same. Pray God deliver us from a further decent into insanity.
I note with interest that I wrote ‘pray God’. Bill Maher would have none of that, and one can already hear his stomach churning. But I do not step back. Scientific and atheistic materialism has its own history, and religion does not have a corner on human abuse and dysfunction. Ok, so who then is this God to whom I refer, and how does one recognize her. I know with certainty that she has little interest in who loves whom and how, in women priests and bishops, and I reject that she thinks we are inherently evil or care a lot about corporate structures. When one meets her she might tell us we were not grateful enough, we did not love enough, and we did not look after each other sufficiently, or feel sufficiently responsible for our brother and sister human beings with less, but I doubt she will want to talk about contraception, abortion,the doings at the Vatican Bank, whether Anglican should have woman bishops, or whether Islam has more truth than Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, or that Taoism or Sikhism is the more superior way. Hers is not a world of exclusion, buy of inclusion. . I admire those who tell me they live in the continual presence of God, but I am not one of them. I believe in the personal spiritual realm and in a personal God, but I notice God’s movements most often when I look back. Some of you might argue therefore that God is a construct I impose on my reality, a fundamental heuristic, and I suppose you may be somewhat correct. Alas, it is a construct that gives meaning to all that I am and do. I encounter God through prayer, but my prayer is almost entirely a process of noticing and recognizing God in a thousand different ways every day, and most always after the fact. I open myself to the presence of the wholly and transcendent other, but then recognize quiet movements in the mundane of everyday. I crave some sort of community, but I am not an enthusiast, or a groupie, and am therefore left to catch only fleeting glimpses of the community I seek. Neither am I afraid to feel guilty about what I did or did not do, but guilt does not predominate it only instructs.It comes form my prayer and directs improvement.
You are not likely to find me raising my arms in ecstatic praise in any Church, or prostrating myself in the direction of Mecca, or bobbing in prayer at the Wall; but you might find me contemplating the thoughts of Rabbi Jonathan Sachs, and yes even reading Rick Warren`s The Purpose Driven Life, all because I am driven to a endless search for the divine other. What you might discover if you wait long enough and have patience is a restless soul who believes in the Ignatian Examine, a consciousness examination undertaken daily when one takes a moment to review and recognize how God passed quietly by.