Lent 2: Blessed are the decentered

February 27, 2013

2013 CMF Lenten Beatitudes

Lent 2: Blessed are the decentered

The decentering of our own ego, our sense of I, allows us to relax into orbit around the great I Am, one of the names for God.  It is a startling but ultimately freeing revelation to know that the world does not revolve around us, and will go on without us.  It’s only after we know this, and have become decentered, that we can hear in a new way the other truth, which is that we are needed, even by God, to be agents of love, joy, peace, patience…the fruits of the Spirit…in this world.  When ego finds its proper place, we know that these fruits and graces do not originate from us, but rather flow through us from the ultimate Source.

Here is the quote from Reinhold Niebuhr, shared on Sunday, which speaks to this reality.  I have tried to line it out in poetic form.

Nothing that is worth doing

   can be achieved in our lifetime;

          therefore we must be saved by hope.

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good

     makes complete sense

     in any immediate context of history;

          therefore we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous,

     can be accomplished alone;

          therefore we are saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint.

Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.

( quoted by Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago Chronicle, Feb. 20, 1997).

 

Lent 3 Coming up: Blessed are those who leave it

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