Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flight to Whole(holy)ness


Fifteen percent of the US population now lists "none" for choice of religious affiliation. Stories running in The Huffington Post recently indicate that folks simply are not going to church like they used to do, including the less educated and women. A Pew Forum Study indicates that young people are not drawn to organized religion, but believe in God and continuing life after death. 


Time to panic? Not at all, unless you're vested in the institution surviving exactly as it is. Yes, some of these so-called unaffiliated are agnostics or atheists, but not the majority. It seems to me the spiritual impulse is alive and well among many of today's folks choosing to affiliate directly with That Which Is, God-as-verb. 


This movement out of the pews among some people who do, expresses not disdain for the Beloved or community, but, in fact, a new way of expressing and relating to timeless Mystery. Many are simply walking the Way as the noisy, honking goose-like Spirit leads them. 


So, do we padlock churches and other houses of worship? Hmmm, a sabbath year from religiosity might not be a bad thing, challenging the People of God to experience spiritual transformation in all they do, not compartmentalize it to Sundays or whatever day for their tradition's worship.  But, perhaps nothing so drastic is indicated as many religious folks already allow the transforming action of That Which Is to transform them within, yet beyond, organized structures.


It does seem, however, that religions need to get over themselves and learn some humility. People demand authenticity; their experiences matter, deeply. They are not sheep called to keep silent unless spoken to nor will they blindly accept all that is told them. Where dissonance fractures, people flee to wholeness. Ah, the Buddha giggles with delight!


Quite simply, as the Latin American saying goes: "You can cut the flowers, but you can't hold back the Spring!" 




5 comments:

Stephen Taylor said...

There is a lot of truth in what you say, we are not sheep to be blindly led we are called to actively seek. For me, I could not live without the Sacraments, my soul would shrivel. I believe in the true presence in the Eucharist, and must have that. Were it not for the Sacraments I would be a Quaker. :-) Good writing, you're seeking is and will help many.

Yossi said...

Blessings, my brother...

Anonymous said...

Indeed, I resonate with Stephen T. As a very intense Sacramental person, living without the Mass or Confession for even a month would have deleterious results in my spirit. The Sacraments cleanse and renew; purge and protect, for me, that is.

However, the point, Brother, is taken. Thank you for this post and for this Blog.

Sister Mary-Paul, nun professed

The Lifestyle Maven™ said...

Very true, Yossi. I shared this on my Facebook profile as well.

Yossi said...

Thank you, dear friends.

It seems to me what's crucial is honoring the call of the Holy Spirit, and that it's not generic. For some that means within organized religion, for others, beyond it, though rooted in its insights. For all, charity and love must rule the day...