“Leave me here freely all alone; in cell where never sunlight shone, should no one ever speak to me, this golden silence makes me free.”( Part of a poem written by Blessed Titus Brandsma while prisoner at Dachau concentration camp.)
The way earphones are used to engage people’s attention fascinates me. In a world that so often excludes others, the use of earphones is one of the distractions that keeps human beings apart. To listen to the sound of the spirit which gives life, we need to be silent! The external forces that impact on life make this difficult.
Disciplined, conscious awareness of the spirit at work in our lives is crucial. A genuine spirituality acknowledges this most vital aspect, the silence that makes us free.
Henri Nouwen et al in their book on Compassion assert that “Our God is a God of compassion, a God with us in our suffering.” To imbibe this compassion of God we need to be present to the other in solidarity with the other’s weakness and powerlessness, sharing in his/her vulnerability. Yet, to face the pain and suffering of the other we first have to face the pain and suffering that mar our lives.
Spirituality, I firmly believe, is a way of life that influences every moment of our being, every decision, action and choice. This demands space and time apart to listen to the Spirit speaking within us.
The virtue of gratitude blossoms as we come to the realisation that all of life is gift and that a greater force exists.
There is a sign that reads, “Lord, you have given me so much, please give me one more thing, a grateful heart.”
As parents, catechists and teachers, God has blessed us with a spirit that draws us to be actively involved in shaping the lives of others, to active compassion for people. This can be a humbling experience for us. Compassion is about deep concern for the other and acknowledging that, at times, we are powerless.
Let us resolve then to find time and space to nurture our own spirit, so that we can truly give of ourselves to others, following the example of Christ.
Have a blessed week!
– Sr Juliet Rajah CHF, Archdiocesan Catechetical Office