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Friday, December 14, 2018

Catherine of Sienna

She speaks to us from the 14th century. Some of her ideas are fascinating to me. Her standard for Christian perfection is charity. She put emphasis on faith, hope and prayer, but she said all virtues are built on charity. Charity in the Bible is also translated as love. I think love and charity are united as a generous spirit and attitude toward life, a caring and compassion that require action.

She also made a lot of statements that I've been mulling over. One is that wickedness is essentially a form of stupidity and ignorance. Therefore it is imperative that we learn to know ourselves, to know God and how we are united. She refers to God as Truth and us as reasoning beings.

There is much wickedness at every historical juncture on this earth. It seems to be quite active nowadays, but that might just be the result of our instant communication, as we know about so much via internet, television, etc. Anyway, the idea of wickedness being stupidity seems apt.

Wickedness could be defined many ways, but at its bedrock, I think it means purposely engaging in hurtful, unloving, shallow and self-destructive ways. One of the reasons this is stupid is karma, sowing and reaping.

Let's say promiscuity is stupid/wicked. Why? Emotionally it leads to inability to have intimacy, to deeply share and care. Physically it can lead to horrible diseases,  incurable for most of history and some still incurable today. This has been true for all time. So it is a stupid thing to do.

We can take any "sin" and see its stupidity. Gluttony leads to extreme obesity and disastrous health, and it takes away the joy of good food. The person just stuffs food into their mouth without savoring. So it is stupid at a number of levels.

Without going over an extensive list, I am hoping you get the point. Behind all of this wicked/stupid behavior, I think, is a hunger. But it is not a hunger for sex or food or greed. It is a spiritual hunger that can only be satisfied by knowing God, knowing The More. Nothing else can satisfy.

Pursuit of a God filled life calls us, and even the beginning morsels are more satisfying than mountains of anything else. Let us turn and refocus our lives on the God we seek, the God that is seeking us.

Our feet are upon The Way. The grandest adventure opens before us. And so we set off.

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