Sunday, August 14, 2011

Losing My Religion

Losing My Religion by Billyboy
Now, don't anybody go gettin' your knickers in a knot. Read before reacting, because it's probably not what ya think, okay? Okay.

The Beloved remains nearer to me than my own breath. Wherever I am, God IS, for the Ancient of Days dwells in all things and all things rest in God. She, like a mother, nurtures and empowers us; she's not about conquest and domination. Perhaps she grows with us.

Note, too, that I am not anti-religion, though I despise what too many folks do in its name, hiding behind its power. Personally, I have no use for any faith that's more interested in shoring up control, doctrine, and/or trappings than compassion and justice or one that's so caught up in spiritual pursuits that it neglects this world.Perhaps we're all called to be Rahner's "anonymous Christians" or live Bonhoeffer's "religionless Christianity". 

It's just that religion, which at its root means "to bind" does just that, and gags, too, often enough. Some discard religion because they've never really engaged it, for sure. Others run after some "spiritual but not religious" light and fairy dust routine which neglects the dark (which is not always negative), and, hence, reality; it's a religion unto itself. Some Evangelicals like to pretend that they're religionless Christians, when nothing could be farther from the truth. Far too many use religion as a place to hide and uplift themselves, without looking around them.

Soup kitchens and shelters are needed, for example, but the roots of society's problems must be exposed and handled. Heaven's fine to think about, if you so care to do so, but not when Lazarus sits on your church, mosque, or temple doorstep without any food or shelter (Luke 16:19-31); all too few ask why.

Granted, a goodly number of religious folks do ask. They bless the world immensely. But this goes far deeper than that for this contemplative. Sometimes one senses a call to the desert, no matter where he or she finds himself or herself. It compels the contemplative to stand at the crossroads of here and now, just at the edge of the Real, which allows reflection and speaking to the stuff of life. Some, like Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, did that within a religious framework, but others of us find themselves called to do so beyond it, though rooted in its interspiritual insights. Monastic mentors confirm this call in my case. This in no way makes me holy, that's for damn sure. For some, dropping the concepts allows the truly Real to bloom.


Esther said...

Really good meditation this.

i would certainly agree that putting aside concepts, preconceived notions, opens one to perceiving what IS.

Yossi said...

Thank you dear Sister Mary Paul!

The beauty is, the Beloved leads the dance, and it hasn't stopped yet. Seems that the compost heap here is being turned still more, thanks be to God.

Joseph Schultz said...

To me this is the essence of faith - trusting God more than you trust concepts of God. When God doesn't meet my expectations, the problem certainly isn't external.

Yossi said...