Propelled into life

Daily Reading for October 5 • The Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

It is not necessary to withdraw from the world in order to be holy. In fact, it may be more difficult to make a spiritual case for withdrawal than it is to understand creative immersion in the world around us. Otherwise, how do we explain the Jesus who walked from Galilee to Jerusalem, curing lepers, giving sight to the blind, raising women from the dead? Does Jesus qualify as a contemplative or not? And if so, then surely withdrawal is not the only way to get to be one.

We must learn that life itself is of God, that the natural is sacred, and that an inward life and immersion in life are of a piece. If we are in God, then all of life becomes sacred to us. To seek God means to find God around us. The God-questions propel us into life, in fact. It is precisely when we begin to see the world through the eyes of God that life becomes the measure of our own godliness. Then life becomes the stuff of holiness for us, not a spiritual threat. Human life becomes the eternal life of the spirit.

From 40-Day Journey with Joan Chittister, edited by Beverly Lanzetta (Augsburg, 2007).

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