The Confessional Box , Egocentricity,Christianity: My Sabbath Sermon

I was just thinking how the best times in my life are when I completely forget myself either when with a person,when writing,enjoying nature or art,reading a good book,visiting the Greek Orthodox Chapel in Walsingham…And with another person I feel we get on better when I am not thinking about what effect I am having or wondering what they think of me.
I believe we are most happy when we lose ourselves this way.
On the other hand,sometimes we need to reflect on our lives and our actions.This may sometimes be painful and we should not wallow in it.I think it’s useful only if it leads us to change our actions,to apologize to people we have wronged or to learn about our tendencies.
But the way I was brought up was to focus intensely on my sins,Jesus suffering and death….and as I grew older this grew worse.
Now looking back I see that it was really the opposite of what I think is the good life as the more I wondered about my sins the less I was able to think of other people although I think I have generally been kind.{!}
So perhaps the way we were educated as Catholics was wrong.One should not be afraid of admitting faults or apoloogising.It’s the human way that we sometimes hurt others whether maliciously or not…and instead of fearing our sinfulness we should openly welcome knowledge of it so as to understand ourselves and understand others who are all very similar to us in their human nature.
So I advocate self forgetfulness on the whole with periods of reflection but not rumination which is extremely bad for us….
You may say that it was my sensitive nature that was to blame but I have met one or two psychoanalysts socially and they said to me it was virtually impossible to change the guilt their Catholic clients felt.
But if the conception of God you have alters then you will alter.I no longer believe in a vengeful deity waiting angrily  for my prayers and tormenting me.You must have a conception of God as forgiving… whether we believe in God or not we need to develop some basic trust in God,the Universe or Life,the great Unknown for only with basic trust can we forget ourselves and live freely..trusting our own selves which are largely a mystery to us… but within us there is the Unknown force that grew us and that renews us daily or hourly as we go on living with each other and accepting we have that in common.. we are all being created and renewed moment by moment as are our “enemies”;as is the whole world..

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About Kate Thwaite

I love writing , conversation, art, wild flowers, music and air.And books
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