Thursday, December 31, 2009

a new year

This from the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner speaks my mind as I look ahead to the new year:

And so the new year is coming. A year like all the rest. A year of disappointment with myself and others... The year in which decisive hours are approaching me quietly and unobtrusively, and the fulness of my time is coming.... Outwardly, of course, they will not look any different from anyone's everyday moments of good works and proper omissions. Consequently I may overlook the--the slight patience which makes life slightly more tolerable for those around me; the omission of an excuse; taking the risk of building on the good faith of those I would be inclined to mistrust because I think I have had unfortunate experiences with them before; genuine acceptance of their being good grounds for someone else's criticism of allow an injury done to me to die away in myself without prolonging it by complaints, rancor, bitterness and revenge; fidelity in prayer which is not rewarded with ‘consolations’ or ‘religious experience’; the attempt to love those who get on my nerves (through their own fault, of course)...the tolerance which does not pay back another’s ‘intolerance’ in kind; the endeavor not to trade on my virtues as a charter for my faults; a prompt will to improve myself when I see sins in others and would dearly like to reform them; the firm conviction, firmly maintained against myself, that I very willingly and easily delude myself and leave a number of faults and pettinesses undisclosed which would strike us as patently obvious in anyone else; the suppressed complaint and the self-praise omitted and many other things which would only really be good if one practised them constantly, though it is true that it is better to do something than not to do anything at all, for one cannot manage everything at once.
We only need seriously to try to do such commonplace everyday things. Then they become terrible...

1 comment:

Fran said...

I really liked that quote, except I don't understand the last sentence about them becoming terrible.

I found the quote overall fairly convicting and a bit of a kick to really work on my spiritual growth.

Thanks for posting. I hope this year we will all be more fruitful for God.