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The zen of faith and adventure

Reliance, faith, trust, hope, readiness, and adventure. The Word broken for us in the Good News challenges us to surrender shadows of the make-believe ethos we create for ourselves to make our way in the complex world, in preference for uprightness, honesty, orientation towards the faithful God of our ancestors who watches over us and in whose evidential love we can rely.

But, the thing is, we embark on our own self-seeking adventures, putting ego before submission and immersion in authentic love which keeps all of us alive and safe, provided with whatever is needed for all situations, in His time.

Even though we have the witness of history, the accounts of travail and victory and the wisdom of the exhortations of our elders to be prepared, to be ready for the realisation of what our hearts long for in the fulfilment of God’s promise to save us, despite our stubborn nature, we ‘real own way’!

Pundits, prelates, gurus, touted aficionados in economics, spirituality, law and practically every field of endeavour represent themselves as ‘knowing’, promoting a search for a Zen-like consciousness which ultimately leaves followers hungry and unfulfilled.

Henri Nouwen, writing about Thomas Merton’s short, but deeply contemplative life, considered the efficacy of delving into the “inner shell” of consciousness, rather than mere intellectual philosophising which often produces no useful fruit or action.

Nouwen bows to the acclaimed ‘wisdom’ of the likes of St Augustine, Teilhard de Chardin, Aristotle, Marx, and Engels, yet affirms that there’s much to be learnt from the wisdom of the East.

He cites the Chinese mystic, Chuang Tzu, that “when all the world recognises good as good, it becomes evil.” In essence, the pull to constant pursuit effectively makes it unattainable. Nouwen explains that in seeking ‘the good’ outside oneself as something to be acquired, the more one is faced with the necessity of discussing, studying, understanding, analysing the nature of the good. Vanity, as we explored in the Word recently.

The result, Nouwen discerns from Merton is that the pursuit of ‘the good’ prompts ‘special virtuous techniques’ and the less real it becomes, and everything recedes into the distance of abstraction, futurity, unattainability – “organised despair”.

How does our ‘servant-leadership’ measure up, even as we ‘journey together’ in synodality?

The Lukan exhortation through the wisdom of God with us and the holy fear of God, strongly points us to dispel or dispose of the notion of self-centred egocentricity to a new Christian consciousness which is activistic, antimystical, antimetaphysical, well-defined, progressive.

Such a disposition for readiness and preparation for when the real master of all thought and conscious action returns to establish a kingdom of unity of the visible and invisible is regarded as disruptive in the contemporary space and thought.

Here’s the real revolution of thought and action, relevant to every one of us.

In essence, the Word broken and shared with us lights the way to a development of consciousness of mutual understanding in all of us, Christian, or searching for the fullness of truth and wisdom.

The faith of our ancestors has been proven to sustain them in authentic pursuit of the desires of the heart.

The question is: Are you adventurous enough to rely on and trust in the promise that joy will come, even after the darkness of unknowingness in every facet of our lives?

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash