Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Falling into Unity

Each time I found myself immersed in a new culture, I began to hear stories about the way that culture came to know God. What fascinated me were the strands of familiarity I noticed when comparing each unique cultural spirituality with my own Catholic faith tradition as expressed in the USA. 

I was fortunate enough to spend a summer in the southern portion of the Navaho Reservation in Shiprock NM, to live in central Utah for eight years and also to spend an academic year in a Catholic high school in northern Japan.  The spiritual richness of each culture ultimately manifested itself in the clarity with which each one lived out their faith-precepts in their daily lives. This demonstration of faith became most apparent in their communal expression of God-connection within the celebration of their liturgies.  The subtle nuances of their symbols and songs immediately spun me into the mystery of the vastness of God’s presence-among-us.

So this week of “Church Unity”, as we acknowledge the wealth of multiple religious traditions and the strands of unity that bind us as one, I flash back to my past experiences and the wealth of lens-expansion that each experience gave me.  The prophetic message that each religion expressed, helped me recognize how truly complementary each tradition was.  Each of us has a “mother tradition” in which our deepest consciousness has been formed.  This “mother-tradition gives us a concrete faith community to remind us to be accountable for what we say and do as we journey together in learning to truly love. [Richard Rohr Daily Meditation, January 20, 2014]. And, within this community, we can safely allow ourselves to be enriched by the insights of other faith traditions.  Together we journey deeper and deeper into this mystery of inclusive love.  Perhaps, when we go deep enough, we may find ourselves “falling into the “underground stream that is shared by ALL.” [Rohr]

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

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