Man this is good to be using a non-web interface blogging tool. Reminds me of the time when I was using Livejournal and semagic (which I’ve heard can be used with WordPress but I haven’t had luck getting it up and running).
On the day I decide not to blog to my Xanga account anymore, I end up with a new subscription from the team at Intervarsity USA on their Xanga home for Urbana.
In the past few months as I’ve discovered that I do have an affinity with Benedictine spirituality, one of the things I have noticed within is that the compassionate side has started to come out more. Before when my prayers were directed at my own needs, desires and wants I felt good about it. Now, those same prayers are directed not at myself (apart from my prayers of confession and repentance), but instead at what is going around in the world. And if I can do something about it, then I should.
One of the things that I am finding increasingly on my mind is peace. As someone who affiliates with Benedictines all around the world, we know that St. Benedict’s motto (apart from ora et labora, labora et ora i.e. “prayer and work, work and prayer”) is “PAX”. That is, peace in Latin. It’s worthless if we evangelicals know our doctrine and can rail against perceived errors in doctrinal matters but our hearts are just as cold as they were before we came to know Christ. Instead, the working towards of peace should be the goal of every Christian. And peace not only just in terms of no war, but peace of mind knowing that the poor are being fed, clothed and cared for. To be a Christian, I think I’ve begun to understand that social justice needs to be part of our everyday lives.
Even if we are not able to be involved in mission work (locally or overseas), to think about someone else in a worser (I don’t like to use that word, but I can’t think of another word atm) position than ourselves reminds us that Christianity is not about a life of comfort and materialistic hedonism (the call of the ‘prosperity Gospel’ kills the life saving and changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into one where we ourselves become our own idols). Christianity is a life that calls for sacrifice.
And that means even the tiniest thing like our prayers where instead of praying for something we want to happen in our own lives, we pray for something we want to happen in the lives of others. Or if we don’t want to give up our own prayers, at least add on a prayer request for others too. We humans are all connected in one way, our shared common humanity in spite of our differences.
Getting back to the Urbana website, there’s a couple of good articles available there that I think we all could read and learn from. At the very least, they should get you thinking.
Striving For The Kingdom: Are You a Consumer or a Citizen? – In my case, if I’m honest with myself (and if you are as well), you would probably fall more within the consumer side of things rather than the citizen side.
Paralyzed by CNN: Dealing with Compassion Burnout – There’s a reason why I prefer reading over watching TV. Especially in instances where it involves stories that deal with others suffering. I have experienced what this column writer describes as “compassion burnout”.
The Responsibility of Freedom – Do we exercise the freedom we have properly? Is my $2.60 small Hudsons long macchiato really necessary when that same amount could feed at least two people a day? Or can we use our freedom to benefit not only ourselves, but others as well.