Thursday, 2 April 2015

On gratitude and loving life

As Lent draws to a close, the joy of Easter Sunday almost upon us, some closing Lenten thoughts of a spiritual nature.

I believe it was an elderly Maurice Chevalier, who when asked what it's like to be old, said "it's better than the alternative". Enjoying life, however it may appear, is the essence of gratitude for being given the chance to be alive. That chance is so mathematically slim, and yet it is a chance that so many of us neither realise we have, or squander it.

What then, is the purpose of life? It is to make the most of what we have. To optimise our potential; I'd argue that it is the spiritual potential that's the most important - striving to get ever closer to the Universal Singularity, a total understanding of everything, unconscious awareness of all.

This is not to be achieved in one lifetime, but how far we evolve spiritually depends to a great degree on how much we love life.

I have written about prayer as dialogue; often, that feedback, that feeling that our message has been received and understood, is that feeling of 'the inner hug', accompanied by tears welling up in the eyes. That moment, we stand on the brink of a greater appreciation of everything.

Moments in which the glory of creation is apparent to us. Moments when we delight in manifestations of human kindness. Moments in which the Eternal Deity's presence is clear and certain.

Sadly, such moments are few and far between in our rushed lives. Seeking them out rarely brings the intended result. Holidays, pilgrimages, silent visits to empty churches - do we find these moments - or do they find us? It is difficult to force oneself to be spiritual. And I am convinced that many among us do not have any contact with the Sublime, the Eternal, the Numinous.

Meditation, something I do at night when I wake and cannot fall back to sleep again quickly, is a useful tool in that space between wakefulness and sleep. Meditate on your breathing in, on breathing out, on the essence of what it means to be alive, and conscious, and aware.

Easter is almost upon us but the weather is unseasonable; parts of Poland are snowier than they were at Christmas time. Freezing temperatures are not conducive to the season of joyous rebirth. Winter this year was mild; spring has been delayed.

This time three years ago:
Edinburgh views

This time four years ago:
Halfway through Lent

This time six years ago:
Swans on ul. Trombity

This time seven years ago:
Papal anniversary, Warsaw

This time eight years ago:
Sowing oats, Jeziorki

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