Jesuit chaplain, Fr Roger Dawson SJ, was among the 1000+ cyclists who brought central London to a halt yesterday afternoon, as they completed the 2014 Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride from Brussels to Paris through the First World War battlefields. The final stage included a ceremony at the Centotaph in Whitehall where Roger gave this reflection.
Christians do not calculate or make distinctions as to whether God is inside a certain situation or not, whether a person seems worth it or not, whether a person has any beliefs, or whether a person appears to be a good person or not, before reaching out in service. Christians help whoever is in need, independent of those considerations – like the Good Samaritan.
Christ invites us to love each other as he loves us. He doesn't say, love each other according to the spontaneous movements of our heart; nor, love each other as society defines love, but rather; ‘Love each other as I have loved you’ (John 15.12). How well have we done that over the centuries? How well do we do it today?
The first half of our journey through life, according to Ronald Rolheiser OMI, is a struggle with the untamed energies of youth - restlessness, sexuality, the ache for intimacy, the push for achievement, the search for a moral cause, the hunger for roots, and the longing for a companionship and a place that feels like home. The second half is more a struggle with God.
'Spiritual health depends on keeping a careful balance, like walking a tightrope so as not to fall off either side. It's not a question of choosing between Martha and Mary but of choosing both - Martha and Mary, prayer and action, living and doing, private morality and social concern.'
‘HOME is where we start from.’ T. S. Eliot describes an experience that can be felt both as a freedom and as a heartache. For some people the place they grew up in forty years ago has changed in so many ways they would hardly recognise it if they returned today.