Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Emptiness And Fullness

It is near the end of my work day and my mind is empty. I'm not sure it was full when I began my day. Sometimes these daily thoughts come easily to me and I can go on and on. Other days, like today, nothing worth writing about comes to mind and I wonder what I will share. Such emptiness can make us feel dull and uninspired. The irony of the spiritual life, however, is that emptiness and fullness can both be good. When we are full, we have much to give and, perhaps, much to say. When we are empty, we have great capacity to be filled. It is when we are empty that God can do his best work. On a spiritual level, when I think I am full, I am usually empty and when I think I am empty, I am often full. I like the confidence that feeling full gives me but it is when I am empty that the Spirit has room to work. I have a new responsibility at my parish. I am now the Lay Director of the men's retreat team. The basic responsibility of the role is to provide some spiritual formation to the team of men working on the retreat. I have to give reflections on scripture and lead them in prayer. The reflections are not meant to be academic. Rather, the reflections are meant to be more from my heart in order to provide spiritual food to my companions. After some group discussion, I must lead them in prayer. I've got to be honest and admit this is challenging for me. Last week I was totally empty and not at all prepared. True to my beliefs, however, my emptiness was filled and I believe I did a good job. This week I will be better prepared but not so much that the Spirit can't work. Well, I started off these thoughts feeling rather empty. By letting go of my emptiness, I have, hopefully, ended up with something worth saying. I hope these thoughts are of some value to you.

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