August 8, 2010

Boy, it took awhile to come down after my return to Phoenix on Friday morning. The jet lag really hit me Friday night, and it wasn’t until around 4 AM my body finally gave up and I crashed until 3 PM in the afternoon, leaving just enough time for a shower and shave before heading off to Mass.

Mass today had a special meaning to me, and not simply because I had spent the past week reading “The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton” and spending time in such a spiritually rich and rejuvenating environment as Vadodara was for me. Just typing this, it all – the incredible plane flights in business class (I doubt I’ll never experience flying like that ever again – like my Auntie Marge always said about flying first class, “everybody ought to do it at least once in their lives”), the flight out of Mumbai as we curled over a monsoon-gray Arabian Sea, the drives through Vadodara and Pune amidst their vibrant, colorful city life, the people who were so friendly and accommodating, and yes, even the craziness of that last day attempting to leave India – seems like some wild bizarre dream I’ve just awoke from.

I have been blessed in so many ways, and this trip has left me with the gnawing sense that I’ve given so little back to God in return for the life and life experiences He has given me. The key quote for me in the Merton book was from comments he made at a conference on “The Relevance of Religion in the Modern World” in South Calcutta on October 23, 1968, just weeks prior to his death amidst still-controversial circumstances in Bangkok, Thailand in December of 1968:

Merton said that the basic condition in all this was for “each to be faithful to his own search”. He also said that standing aside, being marginal required faith – a faith not in structures, but in one’s own vocation, and “Faith means doubt. Faith is not the suppression of doubt. It is the overcoming of doubt, and you overcome doubt by going through it”.

What this trip, in all of its physical, psychological, and spiritual zigs and zags has done for me is made me realize just how faithless I have been, practically from the very start, to my own search. Feeling all too certain of my own calling from its outset, I have sought out the game and played it both recklessly and poorly, rather than simply being faithful in my search and letting the game come to me only if it were to be God’s will. Nothing else should have ever mattered. As a result, my search became unfocused, fruitless, and frustrating, ultimately to be left abandoned and broken by the side of the road, with little prospect of any good Samaritan coming along to rescue it and see it be nurtured, healed and made whole again.

Until this past week. There’s much to do in this regard, but I give thanks to God not only for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but in helping me see for the first time my own search as it has been and needs to be going forward.

Pool temp: 93 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:40 | Comments (4)
4 Comments »
  1. I awoke this morning and, inexplicably, thought about you and wondered how and what you were doing. I remembered your blog post and decided to check in. I wasn’t expecting the reaction I would have! First, what a fabulous trip you must have had! And second, I was surprised that your words seemed to carry a spiritual message for me. I am so reassured by your epiphany and am delighted that your search is moving forward. God bless! Dona

    Comment by Dona Beavers — August 8, 2010 @ 4:53 am


  2. Here is a Lakota prayer I have just come across

    Tunkashiela(grandfather/Creator), I thank you for each day and each lesson it brings
    For the laughter which makes me happy, but more for the hurt which helps me to learn and grow
    For the light in which I see, and for the dark where I see even better
    For my relations on both sides of life who help and guide me
    For the Earth Mother who nourishes us even as we hurt her
    For the life offered and I accepted
    For the chance to help my relations when I am so small and unworthy
    For the love and anger which strengthens me, and for the tears which cleanse me
    For the Sacred Pipe of our people a
    and for our Elders who havekept us alive as a Nation, a people
    For my children who will walk on the Sacred Ground I will lie under
    I thank you for the past, the present and the future
    I ask only that our people shall live.

    I learned that the Lakota have no word for religion or art because they live their beliefs and art.

    “Many go through life looking for their God. They are blind to the sunrise, to the trees flowers and meadows around us. Blind to all the four-legged winged, two legged,sliders and all other beauty and harmony. They fail to see the perfect organism their Spirit dwells within.
    Yet we are a part of the total Spirit, God, as we are an important part of the circle, which is the Spirit”…text from The Great Mystery.

    Also, read amazing reviews on the film Whale Dreamers…sounds like a must see..Julian Lennon made the film. Check out the info online.

    Glad you are home and it sounds as though the trip had many gifts for you.

    Comment by Jana — August 8, 2010 @ 6:04 am


  3. Thanks, Jana – very cool.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — August 8, 2010 @ 12:02 pm


  4. Sorry your comment got posted so late, Dona. It is so good to hear from you. With the latest version of WordPress everyone needs to post once and be approved, then you’re all set. It helps keep out the spammers.

    It is good to hear from you. Please call me on my cell one of these days, as I lost your number when I changed phones and my e-mil address has changed as well.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — August 8, 2010 @ 9:45 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


goodboys.jpg


Search The Site



Recent Items

Categories

Archives
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006


Blogroll

Syndication

4 Goodboys Only

Site Info