Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sorting (RevGals Advent Retreat II)

I don't think of sorting wheat from chaff in terms of sorting people into groups, those included and those not, those who get it and those who don't, those who are elect and those who are not. But I do think of it as something we can address in our own lives, whether interiorly or in community.

This second reflection reminded me of a couple of things. First, some months ago, one of the Jesuits in my life reminded me of the parable of the sower, and told me that it is about tending my own inner garden as well. He has been gently, and sometimes not so gently, challenging me for months to find alternative pathways through my grief. I am a very slow and laborious gardener. Manure abounds.

Secondly, in my Church and Sacraments class, we spent some time last month talking over what the Ten Commandments mean and how to look at them in light of Scripture and the Reformed Confessions. The pattern which more or less holds is to look at each one expansively, interiorly, and then in a positive sense. So, in very brief, as I wrote with respect to "Do not steal" on my final exam, one might also understand that particular commandment to mean "Do not steal the limelight (an expansion of the original), do not envy someone else her achievements (a reference to interior stealing), give generously wherever you can (a positive take)."

So. Sorting wheat from chaff.

In the grieving process: How might one pursue healthy ways of grieving that give expression to genuine sorrow as opposed to repressive ways that damage one for life, or obsessive ways that trap one in unresolvable quagmires? In community, whatever those communities may be? Alone, in prayer? In giving, something out of nothing?

1 comment:

Songbird said...

There always seems to be another way to look at these passages, or maybe I'm showing the bias of an English major who went to seminary. I like that exam challenge. It feels helpful as I sit here waiting for confirmation of something I need to know that will impact many other things in my life. Suppose the answer is negative? What then?