Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice,
golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and
today I do not think I would add one word.
- Sir Laurence Olivier, English actor, born on this day, 1907
At St. Benedict’s, Los Osos, where Dennis and I now worship, we attend Vespers each Tuesday afternoon. A quiet, informal half-hour to meditate, reflect together on Scripture (silently or aloud), pray, and share. I love it. Wish I’d thought of it when I was a parish priest.
Tonight, with Priest Faye officiating, we talked among other things about how we are taught, from our very youth, not to think about the realities of human life. Of how in Scripture, God’s “scribes” have projected onto God all sorts of nonsense, the dreams and hopes and vindictiveness and fears of the humanity community. So, I like Olivier’s words.
Life is as he says. Yet we teach our children to think otherwise. We teach them to avoid the realities of death and suffering. Often we blame sad realities on God, so children plaintively ask, “Why did God let my dog die?” And at that moment, we have created a little one who will have a very difficult time embracing the beauty of the God of Compassion. Jesus warned us, “Woe to those who lead a little one of mine astray!” By the way we have portrayed God over 3000 years, we are responsible for the many who have rejected the false image we have created.
God is ONLY good. Desires only our Good. The negative, wrathful, judgmental, punishing aspects of God as portrayed in the Bible are but the projections of weak human beings who are not able or willing to be responsible for the lives we have been given.
God is with us in the strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. And I say with Olivier, “I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word."