by Rev. Michaël Merle
On the first day of the year 2023, some in our community gathered after community tea-time that follows The Act of Consecration of Man to consider the year ahead in terms of the theme: “What must die and What may not die? How to create space for the new”. Having considered the habits, attitudes, actions and interactions that were considered harmful, hurtful and unhelpful on the previous evening, old year’s night, the new year’s day gathering concentrated on what must not die: that which must make our year ever more alive, prosperous (as in, able to thrive), blessed and happy.
What emerged from the conversation are examples of that which if undertaken with consciousness expresses our ongoing striving to realise our full humanity. The importance of courage was a dimension brought up early in the conversation. How do we act out of true courage, overcoming the fear that would hinder our progress? How do we work in such a way that we recognise that which calls us to stand for the truth and take appropriate action? This dimension of courage corresponds with the notion of the courage of our convictions. It speaks to the essential element of faith – not as the idea of unfounded or unproven belief but rather as that which we know to be true, a knowledge and understanding based on a way of seeing and relating that opens up the reality of the spiritual world for us.
Another key component of the discussion was on the importance of true and effective communication in real conversations. The group explored how to use new media without it creating an illusion of conversation that removes the in-person dynamic engagement at the heart of truly human communication. How do we ensure that we are present fully and consciously in our conversation with others? The two dimensions of a good conversation were carefully considered: speaking and listening!
Other themes that emerged were the essential need to consider our relationship to our environment and our responsibility to care for the environment, the importance of prayer as a regular feature in the ordering and structure of our lives, and the regard we should give to pacing ourselves and not succumbing to the false notions of rushing ahead without taking the time to pay attention to the world and the people around us.
It is in the spirit of Christ as the creator-spirit of the Fatherly-ground of the world, who through choosing the earthly body in which we would dwell, saves us from the deceiving false light and from our senses unworthy cravings that we can take up our strivings in 2023. May the essence of what was discussed in our community on the first day of the year inspire us all to strive in Christ to become evermore fully human in this new year.
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