Monday, 22 August 2011

Altar as the fort

Looking at some of the Brothers who take 'refuge' in 'spirituality' and 'piety' and desist and resist anything challenging, I realise that they treat Priesthood as some sort of safe heaven where they will be looked after. The altar is some sort of fort, which once they scale and get in they are protected. The cassock is some sort of a license which grants them easy access to things, places and people which otherwise will be impossible or out of their reach. Hence their whole focus is on 'prayer' - words alone. The living out of that prayer in day to day life, in communion with others is 'not prayer'. So someone being poor is promised prayers but not a tangible means of getting out of that poverty. Someone struggling with living a life of dignity and justice is sympathised with but not empowered. Now, the latter calls for an involvement, a commitment, a dedication beyond and more risky than mere goody-goody prayers or the Church premises/timings. It calls for an action, over and above the pulpit sermon and time.

Jesus did that all the time. He also got into trouble just because of this. If we claim to be His disciples how then can we not risk, if not our everything, at least something to see that our prayer does not merely remain 'on our lips'. That our hands, mind and heart too join in the prayer. That rather than use the altar, cassock and Priesthood/religious life as a fort, a shield or a castle for our personal safety, as a means of service.

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