Friday, February 27, 2015

Faith and Hope
By: Tara Lane

How does your faith inform your actions?  Inform, an odd use of the word.  Merriam-Webster Dictionary noted, “transitive verb  1 obsolete:  to give material form to.”  How does your faith give material form to  your actions?  How do your actions manifest your faith?   “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17, New International Version.

An inspirational quote:
Deep within us
Is the power to change our lives
Heal the broken
Loose the bound
Live welcoming to all.
(author unknown)
Sisters of Providence, Spiritual Integration Units,
Unit 7 by Sister Kathleen Desautels, Page 9-2

In the 1960’s and 70’s the women’s movement came into its own.  The oppression of women was not limited to secular society.  It was, and still is, an issue in religious organizations as well.  For women that challenged the norms of women in laity and clergy, there were consequences to be paid.  I was one of those women.   Reconciling the personal mystery of God experience and the dogma of religion has been a lifelong conflict.  Seeking deeper spirituality rather than religious integration has reframed and diminished the struggle.  However, the result has been more solitude than necessary and less community than required.

More solitude culminated into unpretentious acts of kindness to circumvent traditional tithing and church work.  To be quite honest, it’s great fun to provide an unexpected gift to an unsuspecting person for no good reason, to pick up the check at lunch, to offer humble resources at the point of need.  It’s even more fun to make a successful delivery without being found out. 

The inspiring quote became real to me in community of the Sisters of Providence.  That community has resolved a great deal of personal conflict.  Deep within us is the power to change our lives.  That “power” can be called by diverse names.  That same power, spirit, indwelling, spark of life, etc. is the unity the community, the Providence that mysteriously connects us, empowering us in that continuous electrical circuit to change.

Let go.  Think big.  Change our lives, not just individually, you or me but collectively.  Deep within us, plural, WE, together, have the Power, THE Mystery to change OUR collective lives.  With that collective power WE, through the mystery with Providence heal the broken, loose the bound and live welcoming at all.

In that humble surrender, allowing our individual sparks to be exponentially changed within the closed circuit of community.  That radiant Power in THE miraculous is the change life often yearns for.

How does my faith inform my life?  It hopes.  It believes our world can change.

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