Saturday, June 9, 2012

Facing "a culture ungrilled"

Monastery grilles are normally set into walls, so there is essentially "no getting around them."  The grille in this photo would have been in such a situation in its original state.  As it is now, however, it's on public display to illustrate how the set-up once worked. 

As persons who live in the world, we are not enclosed by physical walls and grilles.  If we want to respond to all things "through the grillwork of the will of God," we must make a conscious effort to "see" that grille before us.  Such seeing does not come automatically, and the culture we live in doesn't help us.  In fact, if we really pay attention to what God says about (insert topic here), we are likely to find a real conflict between God's revealed will and what we're told by the world around.  Scripture and Church teaching are clear on how to think according to the basics of God's will, but how often would we rather ignore the clarity?  We can find it quite easy to succumb to the murkiness of what is most commonly thought, tolerated, said, believed, done...

It is not difficult to find God's "mind" on a particular subject.  We have Scripture, and we've been given the marvelous tool of the Official Catechism of the Catholic Church.  There is not much that can't be found therein, and there we can find the basic "bars of the grille."

I love the photo on this post (for which I thank my friend CW) because I feel it shows my exact situation.  I have chosen to view and respond to life through the will of God.  However, I can move away at any time. I can simply get up, or even lean just a little, and I'm suddenly seeing life "un-grilled and raw."  Thankfully I don't have to stay ungrilled - Jesus is always waiting to help me get back to where I belong.

We live in the midst of an "ungrilled" culture.  With one click of a TV button or computer mouse, we come face to face with life as it was not intended, by God, to be.  Again:  we will look more at these things in days to come (and on a more personal basis).  But I will leave us, today, with one example.  I opened Scripture just a moment ago, and my eyes fell upon the 18th chapter of Luke.  Reading this, I wondered.....

If I were to check in on a few TV programs tonight, or go to a movie, or read a newspaper, or look up the voting records of various politicians and leaders, how many examples might I find of "a culture ungrilled?" 

"You shall not commit adultery.   You shall not kill.  You shall not bear dishonest witness.  Honor your father and your mother."  (Luke 18:20)

And that, of course, is just the beginning.  May we have grace to remain behind the "grille" of Our Lord's merciful Heart of love.

(photo on this post was taken at the Carmel of Port Tobacco in La Plata, Maryland, site of the first Carmelite monastery in the USA)