Posts Tagged ‘service

25
Mar
14

Lent (Day 18) — I Awoke, cont’d

On his final two points in the chapter on “I Awoke,” Martin discusses service and joy as ways to God.  Service is a key thing in RC spirituality, and most Catholic schools now require a service project in order to graduate.  The point about service, which some people very much resented and resisted when the requirement was first introduced, was that service was key to getting free from selfishness.  The way out of selfishness, and a fixation on oneself, was to turn that focus to others.  As we saw others and became open to their situation and presence in the world, we were able to lose our often intense focus on ourselves and our own troubles.  In addition, when we work with people with troubles, we can often learn to take our own difficulties in stride, as we witness others heroically facing up to their own struggles.  It can also lead to a sense of gratitude to what we have, when we see someone else worse off than we are.  And working with people quite different from ourselves is a way to get out of our comfort zones (a larger prison than our bodies, but still egoism, if extended).  When we have to leave our comfort zones, we are at a loss, and at such times, we are open to revelation and a renewed sense of connexion with the world at large.

On the matter of joy, I like Martin’s final statement in this chapter: “Joy is not a selfish thing to seek, but a selfless thing to find.”  When we are at one with the world, we feel a deep and abiding joy, and that is not selfish, as we are not simply caught up in our own selves and our own image, but on something greater and more majestic than ourselves.  

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