I fell asleep last night after 10 and was wide awake for the most part by 2. I tried to sleep again but by 3 I was willing to admit defeat. I turned on the UCSB channel thinking the drone of a speaker would help me doze. Instead I found Sister Joan Chittister. She was speaking on the topic of Spirituality and Culture. It was a full length lecture and I wish I could remember more of it.
The topic caught my attention. It seems I am increasingly interested in spirituality. I thought it would be boring Catholic dogma that would be better than Sominex but interesting until I dozed. I was wrong. She was a very captivating speaker and I related to her immediately. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to find a note pad and take notes so much of what she said is already forgotten.
However, in my opinion, the message she is spreading will make her worthy of sainthood if she ever starts a tidal wave of followers. She spoke of generalizations held by those who are entering college as freshmen. To paraphrase, they seem to be saying ,”Show me the money!” They are not interested in sexism, feminism, racism, ageism, any -ism. They only desire that job path which will allow them to live in relative wealth as soon as possible.
She addressed the seven deadly sins : lust, gluttony, wrath, avarice, greed, envy, and pride and then proceeded to point out how these sins are being committed globally with the biggest sinner of all being the United States. One fact did stay in my mind. The US consumes 272 pounds of meat per person per year. In Bangladesh it is less than 7. She discussed the converting of forests into grazing fields in the countries of the poor to satisfy our gluttonous desire for more and more meat. Comments were made for each of the other sins. Sins which are being revealed in bright light on a daily basis.
Now I choose to believe that sin is more “missing the mark” as in the archery term: straying off the spiritual path which we all must follow–or not. It is being in a state where I am further from rather than closer to God. I do not believe I should die for my sins however grievous, nor do I believe I will reside in Hell. That is a different topic.
I hope to follow Sister Joan more closely and put into practice more of what she espouses. She is worthy of following. The audience she was addressing for the most part were born in the 60s or before. She says this generation will not see the results of their struggles. She ended with a familiar quote among those who help others. “The seed never gets to see the flower”. She told the audience not to look for results but rather to know that God is working through us even though we may never see the result. The sleep I lost while watching her was worth it. I pray that I might be a seed.