I've been away from blogging for some time. For part of that time I was fruitfully immersed in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, a spirituality that opens us to the Love of God active through all aspects of Creation and our daily lives, work and vocation. I'll be processing the fruits of that retreat for a long time and hope this blog will once again become a place for some of that processing.
Just now I'm getting ready to teach a week-long intensive course that I'm calling "Leadership as Discipleship" and I will try to use this blog a little more frequently to offer some food for meditation. Today I have been reading and reflecting once again on something that the Anglican writer Evelyn Underhill has written about what fullness of life looks like for human beings, and how that relates to the call of God in Christ and the work of the Church. Here's the Underhill quote, which has been the subject of my meditation today. More later, perhaps. It's from a book she wrote in 1932 called The Golden Sequence -- her own favorite among her published works. Quoting the French poet Charles Peguy, she writes:
Every human being, said Peguy, represents a 'hope of God.' In less poetic terms, every human being is a potential spiritual personality, who can by faithful correspondence with God become an actual spiritual personality. The Church is a society of souls at every stage of growth, and adapted to a myriad of different ends, yet all surrendered to the one indwelling Presence, and in all of whom this transformation is going forward 'as He wills.' Thus they form together in a special sense a tabernacle, an organic embodiment for the Holy Eternal Spirit in space and time -- one Body of many members -- Corpus Christi. [the Body of Christ] (Underhill, The Golden Sequence (1932), p 77.
Obviously the visible church is a long way from living up to this and it is easy to point to all the horrific ways in which it has fallen short of this vision throughout history, and into our time. Nonetheless t it is helpful to hold the vision before us, and to pray humbly for the grace to live into this vision. I believe this remains a beautiful and real invitation.
- Kathleen Henderson Staudt
- I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.