Friday, June 10, 2011

Made in the Image of What You Desire

Years ago I saw an Alfred Hitchcock production whose name slips my mind, but was profound nevertheless. Guests to an odd party are each asked to put on a mask. They wore regular clothes and the face covering. What was odd: the masks represented each individual's vice, hence a lust-filled person had a hideously lascivious and misshapen visage; a glutton had a piggish face, and so on. At the end of the story, each guest removes his or her mask, only to find that their face is an exact replica! 

Hence the words of Thomas Merton, ocso: "A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. A man cannot serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire."

In this country, we are experiencing the politics of meanness in its full fury. Jesus becomes a commodity, wrapped in the American flag, used for hate. The Beloved Community is being mocked by dime-store religiosity. This is an intensely spiritual matter! 

What fear must reside in so many hearts to attack, to hate, and do so openly. Armageddon is not about some grand-scale production number of Jesus' return on the clouds to damn people forever. It's now, between faces twisted in greed and hate and those open in compassion and hope. 

St Francis and the Leper



........The Fourth Order said...

How true these words are and give me pause for self reflection once again. It is so easy to hide my real desires behind the face of religiousity or to turn religion into ideology. Again I get to see the condition of my heart as Francis saw when he first ran from the leper and then he turned and entered that fierce embrace.

Br. Yossi, CoS Cam said...

May we all run into that embrace as well!