2 July 2013

Tradition versus Initiative.

Come to think of it, Life now oscillates between Tradition and Initiative .

The Fiddler on the roof mourned the erosion of sacred Tradition that preserved values of belief and behaviour in human society. In our world, "Tradition" reeks of staleness and stagnation and seems so meaningless to our postmodern generation. Is it time for a moratorium on Traditions?

"Initiative" is the watchword today. It springs from creativity and change, has its own value systems and priorities and keeps refreshing Life in a spirit of newness and novelty. Is Initiative the alternative to Tradition?

My reflection leads me to  consider Life as essentially linked to Tradition but constantly swinging towards Initiative. For me, Initiative means "living out of the box", and "living within the box" is Tradition. Think it over.

SPIRITUALITY OF WORK - my incomplete thoughts on work.

SPIRITUALITY OF WORK  - never secular, always sacred.
WORK is a component of our Humanity which is Body and Soul.
PRAYER  is the Soul of our Apostolate.
SDB Constitutions dealing on WORK..18, 41, 42, 78, 95
Dimensions of Work Spirituality:
*Theological – The Eternal Creator – OUR  GREAT, BIG WONDERFUL GOD!
A spirituality of work is based on a heightened sense of sacramentality, of the idea that everything that is, is holy and that our hands consecrate it to the service of God and in partnership with Him as co-worker with the Eternal Worker. “When we grow radishes in a small container in a city apartment, we participate in creation. When we sweep the street in front of a house, we bring new order to the universe. When we repair what has been broken or paint what is old or give away what we have earned that is above and beyond our own sustenance, we stoop down and scoop up the earth and breathe into it new life again. When we compost garbage and recycle cans, when we clean a room and put coasters under glasses, when we care for everything we touch and touch it reverently, we become the creators of a new universe. We sanctify our work and our work sanctifies us”.(Sr.Joan Chittister OSB)
*Christological – The Carpenter’s Son – “Father’s business” (Will)  “,,,, I work”(Jn 5,17)
                              Jesus redeems Work from punishment for sins to pardon through love
                             "Work," the Persian poet Khalil Gibran writes, "is love made visible."
*Ecclesiological – Building the Community, Work is worship.
A spirituality of work draws us out of ourselves and, at the same time, makes us more of what we are meant to be. Good work -- work done with good intentions and good effects, work that up builds the human race rather than reduces it to the monstrous or risks its destruction -- develops qualities of compassion and character in us. A spirituality of work puts us in touch with our own creativity. Work enables us to put our personal stamp of approval, our own watermark, the autograph of our souls on the development of the world. In fact, to do less is to do nothing at all. Work makes us accountable to God and Society
*Eschatological – The eternal Kingdom of God.
Work also develops everything around it and has an eschatological finality and purpose.. There is nothing we do that does not affect the world in which we live. In developing a spirituality of work, I learn to trust beyond reason that good work will gain good things for the world, even when I don't expect them and I can't see them. In that way, I gain myself. Literally. I come into possession of a me that is worthwhile, whose life has not been in vain, who has been a valuable member of the human race.
Finally, a spirituality of work immerses me in the search for human community. I begin to see that everything I do, everything, has some effect on someone somewhere. I begin to see my life tied up in theirs. I begin to see that the starving starve because someone is not working hard enough to feed them. And so I do. It becomes obvious, then, that the poor are poor because someone is not intent on the just distribution of goods of the earth. And so I am. I begin to realize that work is the lifelong process of personal sanctification that is satisfied only for the globe. I finally come to know that my work is God's work, unfinished by God because God meant it to be finished by me..
Types of  WORK : OPUS (productive and effective, a realization of God’s Will0
                          or LABOR (non-productive, squirrel activity, Man’s Will)
Models of OPUS: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Don Bosco, every saint…… ourselves.
Only WORK the fruit of prayer, humility and obedience can lead to the OPUS (God’s Will)

Salesians:  Action-orientated, workaholics who give Don Bosco a bad name?????
DB: “Work, work, work ….. bread, heaven.
         “Tell the devil to stop working first”
         “When a Salesian dies working….. a gain for the Congregation”.
         “Dream of the ten Diamonds” The state of the congregation in …..
         “Poltroni, Mangioni, Testoni”
Salesian model: Young, thin and always on the run (now, gone old, fat but still on the run.)
Since Vat. II and SGC: a call for a paradigm shift from Action Spirituality to Contemplative.
                                      A call to RETURN TO Don Bosco’s “spiritual depth and solid faith.
We have strayed on to the paths of efficiency, professionalism, secularism and individualism and given Evangelization a bad name.
Looking closely into the life of DB, we note that the success of his mission came not from hectic activity but a deeper relation and UNION WITH GOD.