Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shades of Gray

Labor Day is over and the summer is at an end. I always feel a sense of nostalgia at this time of year, even though it's also a time of beginnings with new school year starting. Beginnings are something that I always associate with anticipation and hope. Endings sometimes come with a sense of fulfilment and completion, but are often also tinged with sadness. Consequently, this is a time of year when I have something of a sense of conflict inside. Mild conflict, not the kind that makes a person really unhappy - in fact, my conflicted feelings gives me cause for meditation.

Holding opposites in my mind and heart isn't just a seasonal event. It is, in fact, rare that any situation or question of importance has only one right, clear, immediate answer. There are usually different values, different opinions, different experiences, different needs when we come to making decisions, all of which affect the outcome of how we choose and act in any particular case. Life is mostly lived in shades of gray, rather than black and white.

Yet, as a Christian, the most important factor in any choice I make, any act I perform, is whether I am living out the Gospel values. And what underlies the Gospel? Love for our fellow human beings, whoever they are and wherever they may be. In all the shades of gray that surround us, we can look for that simple, pure light and pray to be led by it.

Karen Rose, OSB

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