“St. John of the Cross says that every quality or virtue which the Spirit really produces in our souls has three distinguishing characters…..Tranquillity, Gentleness, Strength.
…. Fuss and feverishness, anxiety, intensity, intolerance, instability, pessimism and wobble, and every kind of hurry and worry – these, even on the highest levels, are signs of the self-made and self acting Soul; the spiritual parvenu”
– Evelyn Underhill. The Spiritual Life
I looked up the word parvenu. What might a a “spiritual parvenu.” mean?
“One that has recently or suddenly risen to an unaccustomed position of wealth or power and has not yet gained the prestige…”
I’ve certainly come to understand and appreciate the value of the Spiritual virtues of silence, gentleness, and peace.
Unfortunately, I sin against the Spirit and his virtues all too often.
This place of gentle spirit is not where I perched the last few days. I am concerned I might have irreversibly cursed my soul by chasing off any remaining scraps of tranquillity, gentleness, and strength I had within me. My silence and peace fled me.
How did this happen you ask? I was read about politics and government. The usual dour fruit flowered and flourished in my heart then bloomed into a cantankerous disposition. I fell deeply into a, “Fuss and feverishness, anxiety, intensity, intolerance, instability, pessimism and wobble….”
I wobbled, and wobbled right good too. It cost me something.
“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” Psalms 107:9 (ESV)
Politics does not fill me with good things. Every so often I get to reading it again and it kills me every time.
Then i read things such as this and ask, “Can a believer’s followed Truth not touch society?”
“The net tightened around the Jews as Bonhoeffer withdrew to America, knowing that he must return again as a pacifist -almost certainly to face death.
He became a resistance worker, and was part of a failed plot to assassinate Hitler. But it was his evasion of the call up for military service that led to his arrest…..
He supported and prayed for his fellow prisoners. Perhaps he died because of his political convictions and not as a Christian martyr, but he would have said that there was no distinction between the two.”
– Celtic Daily Prayer. The Journey Begins. Book One
Maybe I need to become a non-participant in government, like the folks in Amish, or Hutterite communities? I need to choose to stop reading, writing, and pondering the convoluted spasms of governmental business, policies and politics. Leave the written journalistic orgasms where they, knowing full well the nature of too many of these writings. Would that be a bad thing?
Let me paraphrase the words of an acquaintance
“If voting really mattered, do you think they would let you do it? – Stephen Hill
If we can put aside my Savior complex, of thinking we could fix anything anyway, and politics does actually go to hell in a hand basket, I suppose we would still have to pray that we be permitted to live a peaceful and quite life, no matter the circumstances.
I am torn, as seeking Truth is seeking the ultimate realities of the world. What is really real about the world; all of life, humans, nature, ideas etc. How can we be silent in the face of any harm, hate, or humiliation that comes from a wasted life of propping up (or permitting) a lie? The cost in human suffering is often very high where conflicting ideologies compete and the ultimate reality and Truth fails to influence (In the political realm indeed).
I wobbled, and out the window went my Spiritual peace, tranquillity, gentleness, and strength.
And my sin hurts.
I have to cease doing this to myself.
Yet, can a person of faith just hold it inside of himself? Should they? Everything about Faith in sacred texts seems to say, no! Faith always flows in an outward direction. It’s a water spring, not a glass of water.
Secularists see faith as a glass of water. Keep it to yourself. Keep your thoughts and ideas as your inside religion. Drink from it yourself. That kind faith is a dead faith, the kind that dies, the kind no one desires, the kind that no one follows, the kind no one believes, the kind that no one can actually have in the end. It is a Unicorn. What it really mean is shut up faith people.
Anyone with a spiritual pulse of their own, and any awareness of history, and sacred writings, knows that truth is a spring of water. It can not be contained. It can’t help but flow out of the container of our heart, soul and mind, in practical love, good works, good words, good deeds, good understanding. It always oozes out, no matter how hard you try to stop it. I think this is the stress I am under.
Reading about politics makes me feel so dirty… yet i need to realize my politics is how I treat people around me. Not mere thoughts and rhetoric i read somewhere. Humm have i come to a little more understanding as I write this?
I think this might be what makes me feel slimy and dirty – the rhetoric. All the writing rhetoric….
Hummmm. Stay away from the rhetoric! Might this be the key? Stay away from rhetoric, but live in the reality of truth in natural ways but kinder ways, around me.
For certain my peace comes from looking into the things of Spirit, not at the systems of the world.
I wish I did not forget this, like I do some days.