Sunday, January 22, 2012

Living now what is to come...

The second reading today caught my heart – my imagination. St. Paul is writing to the people of Corinth but his passion around the Second Coming feels very specific to our monastic life.

I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

We who follow the Rule of Benedict do believe that the world is “passing away.” God’s reign, God’s kingdom is breaking through. Because we want to live ready for his coming, we don't take a marriage partner. We embrace celibate loving – love that is for all. Celibacy frees us to focus on the “bigger picture” of salvation and point to the love that is more than any human expression in time. Because we believe that Christ comes now - in each day, in each moment, in each breath – we practice eternal peace. We accept what is – the joy, the pain, the beauty, wonder and mystery of the human heart – and we trust that it all belongs in our personal or collective story. Because our real treasure is the love of Christ, we hold everything here in common. No thing must preoccupy us – tempt us from the singular joy of believing we are precious.

We love the world in all its fractured, terrible beauty but we recognize that it is not our true home. We have set our sights on Zion – the New Jerusalem – the beauty of God’s face. Until we get there, we keep on – together. We gather to pray, to eat, and to share the everyday sweetness of life lived in the Presence. We live aware of grace - how God’s love shapes us gently but firmly into something more wonderful than the sum of our parts. We live with urgency – Christ is here among us. We can let the world, as we have each known it, "pass away." No longer defined by what we did there, we delight in what we are becoming here – the Body of Christ. Hands, hearts, eyes of love for the world – we pray to be a sign that God is near, God cares, God comes and God is making all things new.

Blessing and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki