25 January 2009

It's the lonliest number...

From Rolheiser's latest:

..."And with deepest respect and honor we may have to call upon our courage to walk away from anything and everything that does not resonate with our soul's truth as we struggle to know ourselves in the deepest ways. And if in the end we stand alone with the presence of God perhaps that is the way it was always meant to be. In other words, I'm setting my limits and it's mighty lonely!"

That's a pretty accurate description of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The gospels, in describing his passion, never dwell on the physical pain (the scourging and the nails) but focus instead on his moral loneliness, his radical aloneness, on what it felt like being "unanimity-minus-one". And this, his refusal to compromise, was his great gift to us. He paid the price, in blood and loneliness, of entering that barren landscape of broken bodies and minds so as to carry solitude at a high level. Despite every kind of pain, humiliation, and loneliness he refused to comprise his ideals. And it left him mighty lonely.

Inside of everything that's best in us, we hear an invitation to join him there: To live in pain rather than lower our standards, to risk being alone rather than compromise who we really are, and to be lonely, mighty lonely even, rather than to sell ourselves short.

No comments: