Friday, December 21, 2007

Actions of the inner life

St. Jospeph

This morning I found a very interesting blog called "Holy Ordinary: Quaker Thoughts on Life". The blog author posted a very moving Advent reflection on Joseph, the spouse of Blessed Mary. Here's part of what it says:
I would further suggest that the example of Joseph shows us that believing and being silent and still are actions of the inner life. They do not prohibit outward action. Joseph does not lock himself away in his carpenter’s shop. Instead he is a man of action – even if he is still in his soul. He marries the maid, they travel to Bethlehem, he leads Mary and Jesus to Egypt for safekeeping, and brings them home again when Herod’s threat is passed. There are no records of Joseph speaking anywhere in Scripture. He is a man of action, not words.

That is one of the lessons for us from the characters of Christmas – that our “yes” to God can be modeled on Joseph as well as any other Christmas character. He believes and acts, even when he’d rather have answers to his questions. He is silent and still in his soul.

May we be, at the season and through all of our lives, silent and still, even while we are busy living. May we be free to ask the questions that trouble our souls. May we be confident that God looks upon us with Love. May we be like Joseph – people of soulful action.
I am amazed by the number of people who suggest to me that becoming a meditator also means becoming passive. I think that is due to the black and white thinking so prevalent in our American society. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meditation, rather, gives us the clarity and discernment that make skillful action possible.

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