Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Your Light Must Shine

Continuing our study of personality types and how persons of different types interact, perceive, and (mis)understand each other. A very good group discussion this morning. Now, awaiting supplemental articles about psychological types from our formators for further reading and reflection. This afternoon, we pivot from psychology to spirituality, reading a reference article on meditation by Laurence Freeman, a Benedictine monk.

Going gently into the personal time of afternoon: computing in the library, reading, and physical exercise, leading into meditation and evening prayer. This evening we celebrate the birthday of one of our brothers in formation. Afterward we will gather in chapel to begin our evening of faith sharing, offering our personal reflections on the Scripture readings of the day.

Today's lectionary texts come from 1 Kings and the Gospel of Matthew. I am drawn to the Gospel, which today takes us into Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. "You are the light of the world": this is my meditation. Today these words convict my heart. I know my lamp is on, but I am not giving my light to all in the fraternity. I have been feeling more reserved since beginning this phase of religious formation. Large group interaction is spiritually draining for introverts, and so are situations where they are "forced" to socialize. Introverts need continual encouragement and a lot of motivation to participate in social activities. Their temptation is inaction: not that they are lazy or unwilling to work at personal development, but they will refrain from jumping in if the moment is not "right." An explanation, or a rationalization?

With understanding comes choice and responsibility. With God's grace comes power. For the will to share my light, without fear, prejudice, or untimely delay, I ask God's favor.

It is not only for my own sake. My brothers want to see me shine this little light of mine. Indeed, they need it. They are right to desire this. Our light is not our own; it is a share in Light itself. What is more, they do not want to be left "in the dark" about their brother. Of course, and I can understand the frustration. You can't relate to a bushel basket. Now that we have studied personality types together, I hope they will be patient with me. I pray for patience, too. My sun rises slowly, but rise it will. No horizon, no mountain will conceal it forever. The light is there; it is coming up; and one day it will touch you. May God speed the sunrise.

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