Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Wiki in the Dark: A brief account of my faith life in Wiki

I apologize for the lack of entries. I was ambitious enough to believe that I would need good photos to go with each one my entries, which partially explains the delay in entry writing. But I'm slowly resigning myself to the fact that my camera can't keep up with the events of my ministry here...so I'll have to fake it!!

 My prayer life in Wiki has been quite rich . As I've mentioned in previous entries, there is a beautiful spirituality that accompanies the 'hardship' that this community witnesses on a regular basis, a spirituality that I have been deeply moved and inspired by. As a side note, I will explain that I use the word hardship with caution: I don't think people in Wiki see more death or suffering than any other community in this country. However everyone is so close here, that every death, every example of hardship that occurs, seems to affect everyone in the community. In most communities on this continent, too much exposure to the darkness this world has to offer would kill people's faith. Here, it only strenghtens it,and  makes them realize that they can't overcome that darkness without without the support of the light of God's love.

 Besides being tremendously inspired by the community's faith, my own prayer life has focussed much on our Lady, thanks to a poster that Santiago left behind last year.

The best way I can describe it is that Our Lady of Guadaloupe completely drew me in during prayer.  See ever since I've entered Novitiate, most of my examen prayers had been honest and genuine, but a little routine, and sometimes even lifeless: I would 'tell' Jesus about my day and try to think of something spiritual about the events that shaped it. In this case,  I wasn't telling Our Lady anything..she invited me into a dialog, where I feel like...there was another  perspective being offered about my day. If for example I would say something like "Nothing major happened today" she would turn around and say "are you sure? Because I saw you reach out to kids, help seniors, and bring joy into many people's lives today. I'd say that was something major!" She in short, does not allow me to me to wallow in this self criticism as I usualy adopt when I reflect upon my days. She helps me to dig deep in the seemingly unexciting events of my days to expose both the struggles, and the beauty that mark my walk with Christ.

  This past Sunday, you might say that I faced another aspect of this type of praying: The power went out in Wiki. At first I was kind of restless. I had been working on a outline for my class the following day, and was anxious to get this done so I could enjoy my Sunday evening (which in Wiki, basically means watching movies on the movie channel! Can I get a Woot Woot!!!?) But something about a power outtage really brings you back to the meaninful things in life. Not only was there no tv or internet or radio...I couldn't even read anymore because it was getting darker by the minute. By the time night time had settled in, I felt moved to just, observe Wiki in the dark. It was actually quite beautiful to just look at the night sky envelopping the little  town, or to watch how the lights of the cars coming up the road affected the landscape so much more now that the street lights and all the other lights were out.

 Eventually, I snapped out of this prayerfull reverie, and I felt called to prayer.  I sat in our Chapel with the blessed Sacrament for probably a half  hour. Maybe less. What was striking was that, without all the distractions around me, my mind, and my spirit were so much more at peace. And again, in my prayer, I did not do all the talking. God was able to share with me in a very direct way.  Again, this is hard to describe, but the best way I can explain it is that God helped me understand that this 'imposed' freedom from all the technological distractions that fill my days, was an opportunity to reflect on how good that freedom felt, how it actually brought me closer to God. How I have come to depend a little too much on those distractions to deal with the isolation and loneliness of Wiki. How perhaps, in the end, this was a very real, and tangible invitation to come back to the source of my joy in this life.

Makes sense...the challenge is that knowing this and living it though...not so easy!
Un jour a la fois!!
Something like that (-;

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