24
Oct
10

Henry David Thoreau, I’m not…

Given the current chaos at my place of worship for the last 16 years or so, I do not feel that my continued (physical) presence there is conducive to peace of mind, or spiritual growth.  I am not interested in squabbling, and feel that I have only my own soul to risk in some of the infighting I’ve seen.  Consequently, I’ve decided, though I have not resigned my membership to retreat for a while.  In my Catholic background, retreats are an opportunity to get some perspective by stepping out, to the extent possible, from the day-to-day troubles of life.  Of course, as a very passionate person, I have often retreated from situations when I felt my anger get the better of me.  In a way, I am retreating from All Souls for both reasons.  I do not want to voice my anger, and I need some distance to put things in perspective.  I am calling this blog All-Soulo in honor of my religious home for the past 16 years, while also acknowledging that I am, for a while, largely going it alone.  This does not mean that I will be an hermit, like Mr. Thoreau, or some of the saints of my youth, such as St. Jerome, or the ever popular Simeon Stylites, who sat atop a column for years.  I haven’t the discipline or solitary disposition for that. 

A former minister at All Souls, John Weston, stated in one of his sermons that he did not believe that a solitary path was as valuable as walking the path in community.  One problem is that one’s personal feelings and ideas are not challenged when one sticks only to oneself.  Still, I’ve often thought that it would be worthwhile, for a little bit to try this solitary path.  Not that I’m ever alone.  I do have a small group of friends with whom I discuss all sorts of ideas, and there are all those great thinkers, whose ideas are ever buzzing around in my head.  But retreat from the busyness of church life, especially during a time of turmoil, may allow me to be a better UU, a better person, and someone with something valuable to offer when I return. 

I hope, in these postings — I shall be sure to post at  least once per week, on Sundays — though I may post on other days, especially when I read something or hear something that inspires me to write.  I’m hoping that, by these postings, I may develop a community of fellow travelers and learn to tighten my thinking and expanding my feeling.  To that end,

I remain, speaking my truth in love,

Bernard Norcott-Mahany

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