What is there against living a consecrated life in this day and age? Consecrated to life, not to a church organization.
I grew up and was socialized in a Christian environment. I acknowledge those roots of my experience, actions, and decision making as part being in this world. I acknowledge at the same time that Christian thought is one of various worldviews and images of God. This is because the divine is universal and manifests itself in every culture and can be perceived accordingly by all people – in a variety of ways.
It is also a core statement of my Quaker understanding of faith that the divine spark is present in every human being. The difficulty lies only in the openness and curiosity to want to recognize this spark.
Nor do I allow myself to be distracted by the currents of spiritual stretching exercises that are now recognized as substitutes for religion. Not by the arbitrariness of beliefs that seem like justifications of a particular way of life in a consumer society. Gospel of prosperity – endless loop of the search for meaning in retreats, workshops and pilgrimages around the globe – miracle cures through superfoods, body cult in Spandex, drugs and complementary therapies – short mindfulness session before the next cheer with bubbly drinks in the global casino!
I am drawn to the root, to radicality. Therefore, in this complex world, I have nothing better to do than to greet my roommates in the morning, change the wet pants, vacuum the staircase, explain the mailbox key for the seventeenth time – to manage everyday life together. To consecrate my life to life and to humanity. In this respect, I see myself as almost complicit in today’s much-vaunted shortage of skilled workers in our economy.
Of course, the academic qualifications and diplomas help me to move in this world and to create a simple life in it. Besides contemplation, my analytical thinking and a scientific approach enable me to deal with the abundance of information – also to separate the essential from the superfluous. To fade out stock prices, sports news, lifestyle recommendations in order to preserve the necessary calm and silence, which makes it possible for me to perceive the divine voice – these universal signs of the existential – to take them seriously and to implement them for an approach of a consecrated life in a secular society.
4 thoughts on “Skilled worker shortage vs. consecrated Life”
I hope you can imagine what this post has to do with the war in Ukraine, climate change, pandemics: every mindful action is better than the best argued lament about the ills of the World! Live the change you want to see in the world.
Othmar, thankyou for sending this. I appreciate your thoughts and it felt like there should be a page two to continue on in your discussion of a more contemplative life. I hope you are keeping well. Ruth
I am doing well. The hospice project is up and running, with a communal household of 5 (ranging in age from 61 to 96 years old) – therefore you can imagine that contemplation is always linked to action as well! With loving greetings to you and your family, Othmar
Very deep and thought provoking article….I belive many qualities such as compassion, dedication, and sacrifice of worldly desires are required for one to live a consecrated life….the “17th times”was so funny. Thanks for sharing in English.