Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Worth Remembering ...

Father Stephen Freeman included this in a post a while back. It occurs to me that these words are valuable thoughout life, and especially for those engaged in "religious dialog." In my own life, there have been many times that I have been defined by what I am against, rather than who I am. With the best of intentions, my eyes have often been focused, not on Jesus, author and perfector of faith, but on whatever or whoever was considered "the enemy" at the time. For this, Lord Jesus, forgive me!

Consider these words from "Keeping Your Eyes Open."

A hermit said, “Cover a donkey’s eyes and it will walk in circles around the mill wheel. If you uncover its eyes, it will not continue to walk. The devil obscures our vision and leads us into all kinds of sins. If we keep our eyes open, we will more likely escape.

Keeping your eyes open is perhaps one of the harder spritual feats of our present age. So much of the material of our culture is specifically meant to mislead and deceive. And then again, so much of our culture has a “virtual” existence rather than a real. To a large degree, keeping your eyes open means keeping them focused on what is known to be true:

1. Avoid rumors

2. Avoid gossip

3. If you share something you expect someone else to keep secret, you are doing something you are asking them not to do (confession is obviously exempt from this).

4. Avoid information that is shared in anger

5. Avoid information (or treat sceptically) that is disseminated for profit (which would include almost all media).

6. In religious matters, novelty is not a virtue

7. Do not take delight in the sins of others.

As I read that list, it became very obvious that I had done all of those things at one time or another, in spite of the fact that I have shared almost exactly the same things with others!

I pray that my and our discourse is always "speaking the truth in love" -- and that's what the points quoted describe!

God grant that we keep our eyes open, and that we are slow to speak, eager to listen, and ready at all times to speak the Truth.


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