This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Indifference does not mean lack of suffering

Sunset on Manhattan Beach, CA
Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.Job spoke out and said:
Perish the day on which I was born,the night when they said, “The child is a boy!” Job 3:1-3
The impression from yesterday's reading from Job was that he remained somehow indifference to his losses and continued to see his life as blessed the Divine One.  Today it is clear that his indifference did not mean that he didn't suffer grievously from these losses.  Here he wishes for death as the only peace he can possibly achieve.  Importantly in the previous chapter and in this one, he refuses to curse the Divine One, which is the whole point of the contest between the Divine One and the devil.

The Christian life not one in which I achieve immunity from suffering and pain but that I fully experience them without losing faith and hope in the Divine One.  This is what Job was able to do and what Jesus did in his life.  The reading from Luke begins the story of his "heading resolutely to Jerusalem" where he will experience death, suffering, humiliation as well as resurrection and ascension.  When the people of the Samaritan town reject him and his followers, he does not respond in kind in deed or even in word.  He must have fully experienced that rejection as he would the terrible rejection in Jerusalem but he was able to place it in perspective and did not allow it to divert him from his vocation.

As I have written elsewhere*, I have used a "passionate and involved indifference" to describe this stance.  It does not mean avoiding the pain and suffering of human life but rather placing it in proper perspective so that the pain and suffering does not govern my words or actions.  Clearly this is possible only with the grace-filled life of the Divine One.
* Here is a link to that writing on the Goal and Purpose of Life from the Ignatian Exercises.  This is a restatement of that prayer of Ignatius which I wrote as part of that spiritual journey and then revised five years later.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NMpHu9LQJEX7Nmv9xtDOxKby4QvU5FPdW7pIgHghgMw/edit?usp=sharing 

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