Death… (Canticle of Hezekiah 3/6)

“My dwelling like a shepherds tent is struck down and borne away from me.  You have folded up my life like a weaver who servers the last thread.”

Hezekiah feels as though he is dying.  His is in fear of his own physical death.  THis is no uncommon or even unexpected.  Anyone who works in a hospital can share stories of patients who stand in fear of their own death.  At some point in their lives most people have stood in fear for their lives from one thing or another.

 

There are however, two types of death.  A physical death, and a spiritual death.  It is the spiritual death which should be of the greatest concern to us.

Just as we accept that from the time we are born until we pass from this life, we can view our lives as a series of milestone markers, that point to important occurrences, so too our spiritual lives have these milestones.  For instance, Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders etc.  The points of conversion, those changes of heart, or formation each of these milestones are a point of both growth and death.

Why death ?  Each point where we grow in faith, we experience a type of death. Each child in their formative years learns lessons about sharing.  The parent guides the child through the ideas of sharing their toys.  The child may initially now want to share, and initially also may not be happy with that idea.  Eventually, however, the child learns that by letting go of the need to hold on to everything, they not only receive more joy of playing with another child or children, but they develop relationships with other children.  In this scenario, the child experiences a type of death.  This death is a death to selfish tendencies and a growth in their spiritual lives.  They learn the idea of material detachment.

Those deaths are not different at all from what happens in every part of our lives.  The only difference is the role we play int he story.  If you are a parent, then  you are the parent, however are we not also all the other roles in the story ?

Looking through the lens of faith, we can see that we are at times the child.  We experience changes in our lives.  These changes are accompanied with new experiences, some of which we may not be particularly happy about.  THings are taken away from us, or lost.  We are taken out of our comfort zones, and we faced with some challenge.  We are forced to LET GO of what ever we are holding on to.  In this process we will learn new things and have new experiences.  We will receive a different kind of gift.

Some are stuck in holding on to their ways.. their things.  Because they will not let go, they do not receive the gift that awaits them.  Everyone is living this cycle with each new experience this cycle begins anew.

Jesus tells us to pick up our cross daily and follow him.  When we forgive others, we experience a death, when we truly ask for forgiveness, we experience a death.  When we let go of hatred, anger and malice, we experience a death, and when we seek peace, when we love, and when we hope, we also experience a death.

Each of these types of death is not only preceded by a cross we must carry, and endure for a time, but it is most importantly followed by a type of resurrection, in the way of a new spiritual gift.

 

 

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