THERE IS A SEASON by Joan Chittister
GENRE: religious reflection
DATE READ: February 28 - February 28
NO. OF PAGES: 118
Off the Shelf (pre-2013)? Source?: Yes, my bookshelves
The Book of Ecclesiastes "invites us to see life as a mosaic made up of small pieces of human experience common to us all" and there in lies the beauty of this book. We as the reader are taken through the compartments of time - birth, death, loss, gain, love, hate, war, peace, sowing, reaping, and all that heaven holds for us. But do we ever really look at how we treat Time?
Time in our society is very often treated the same as money - being saved and counted, we even "invest" and spend our time.
But this book reminds that we must look deeper into what we see. For instance, the signs of the zodiac are all compared to a fragment of ourselves - Ram for Aries is a reminder that just as with Abraham finding a ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac we must make sacrifices, Taurus the bull shows us we must set aside the "golden calfs" that we worship, Gemini the twins identifies a manner of seeing the personal inner self as well as the personal relationships that we are a part of. Each of the zodiacal signs can find a non-pagan equivalent.
"Before we face the world, we must first face ourselves"
But are we capable of looking that deep or are we afraid? Fear governs are reactions whether we see it or not. We fear a loss of status so we say nothing, we fear a loss of comfort, so we mindlessly turn away from effort that might risk greater accomplishments. We fear criticism but we must reach inside our selves and give birth to a courage that we alone can muster.
Loss teaches us that we need to learn the lesson of how to begin again, learning how to be wrong, teach our children to learn not shame and guilt and anger from losing but pride and goodness and resolve to try again. We also need to find the true lesson of love because "anything that degrades or demeans or destroys a person in any way is not love, no matter how loudly proclaimed."
"Love is about regal respect, royal reverence and total support. It needs to be taught rather than made the victim of a hormonal roulette." How has our socieety today changed the definition of love? "Love resides in the santification of friendship" and yet how many marriages are based on friendship, how many can say my spouse is my best friend? The word 'friend' in our society has become so warped by social networks and texting do we really have BFFs?
The book continues on, reaching out and grabbing your soul because the words, that are almost poetry, explain what your thought processes and feelings are unable to express. When I started I thought this would be a book for those of the Christian faith, but the farther I went the more I realized that everyone would benefit from these words.
And so all purposes under heaven tells us that "in life we become that which we could not have been without our own particular recipe of cleansing pain and perfect joy in proper proportions."
My apologies for so many quotes, the author just said it so much better than I ever could.
All I can say is WOW!
Thanks Tina for recommending this book. I'm keeping my copy too.