February 1, 2007

Choice

The breviary gives little blurbs about the saints on their feast days. Usually they aren't very interesting, but part of the one for St. John Bosco yesterday caught my attention:
His early years were most difficult and once ordained to the priesthood he dedicated himself to the education of the young.

I was thinking about how that little statement has everything I need to know about spirituality. We have two choices about what to do with our suffering: we can try get even with the world by making others suffer as well, continuing the cycle of violence whereby the abused becomes the abuser, the terrorized becomes the terrorist, the revolutionary becomes the dictator, etc., or we can choose to transform suffering into compassion.

The latter choice says, "the cycle of violence ends here, for I am returning life in exchange for the suffering of death." And that, I suppose, is the mystery of the Cross and Resurrection.

Taking our suffering and making sure it doesn't become violence, and trying to transform it into compassion is the work of spirituality, by whatever name you call it: ascesis, right effort, jihad, working our program, yoga.

And Jesus promised that his yoga was easy and light. (Same word, no kidding.)

1 comment:

forget me not said...

Profound and so true, at least for me. Not so easy, but not impossible.