Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rolheiser on being stretched and widened...

"In many ways, at least in the Western world, the church is in the desert, in a dark night, lost, being pruned, undergoing a purifying alchemy." (Ron Rolheiser)

Rolheiser goes on to point out,

"We have our good seasons, but we have seasons too where we lose relationships, lose health, lose friends, lose spouses, lose children, lose jobs, lose prestige, lose our grip, lose our dreams, lose our meaning, and end up humbled, alone, and lonely. But that’s a place too, a valid and an important one. Inside that place, our souls are being shaped in ways we cannot understand but in ways that will stretch and widen them for a deeper love and happiness in the future."

Rolheiser draws a parallel with the same place of stretching and widening in "our greying and emptying churches" where "we’re aging, unsure of ourselves, lacking in vocation". He suggests it is a good place to be, where humbled and insecure, we can again become church. From being lost, unsure, emptied, aching in frustration the heart is softened, and like a rich and mellow wine aged in cracked old barrels, transformation and maturity emerges.