Toward discernment

A friend once said at age 101, “It goes better with me if I don’t eat so much. I’ve been a voracious reader, but I’m learning that it goes better with me if I don’t read so much. I believe the arc of aging bends toward discernment. As I get older, I’m discerning that less is more. Quality>Quantity.

You know some of the people who engage my mind and soul. Among the living, the old timers are Richard Rohr, George Will and Peggy Noonan. Some recent engagers include Cynthia Bourgeault and Mirabai Starr.

I worked in various faith communities from 1970 to 2019. It’s tempting to think of religion as a commodity with a competitive assortment of vendors. I’ve tried to view leaders of other faith communities as colleagues, not competitors. I realized one day that I was prideful by thinking or saying, “We’re not as competitive as they are.” I laughed at myself. Recently, Miraibai Starr caused me to ponder long with this challenging sentence:

“We are conditioned to treat the spiritual life as another commodity, rather than as a discipline of inner transformation with a corresponding commitment to alleviating suffering in the world.” (From God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, quoted by Rohr.)

From “Transformation vs Change,” by Scott Breslin

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