Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A difficult conviction

I believe I am being spiritually convicted of something and I don't like it. As a general rule, once you realize you are being spiritually convicted, it's because it's something that's "spot on" when it comes to your faults...and I REALLY don't like that.

Here's the background:

1. As you may have noticed from recent postings, I recently read an amazingly wonderful book entitled "The Blood of Flowers." It's set in Iran (Persia) in the 17th century and (as you might imagine) the women need to be very aware of how they dress - women from the higher classes are especially conscious of not going out without being fully covered. There was a particular ancient story that was part of the novel, which really stood out to me. A beautiful woman was pursued by various men and she finally cut off her hair and lived as a wise man for many years so that she could find peace and live the life of a holy intellectual. That fable has really stuck with me.

2. We are complete History Channel and science show geeks. Last night, we watched a show we'd recorded - it's one from a series about the Seven Deadly Sins. The show we watched last night was about Pride ...and let me tell you - I have never been so convicted. It's almost as if I could hear the Universe clearing it's throat as if to ask me if I was paying close attention because the show was created especially for me and my faults. The priests and religious scholars discussed the fact that Pride is sort of the lynchpin of all other sins - it was considered the most dangerous (i.e. - the most deadly??) by Pope Gregory. This is basically because Pride is used by humans to justify all other sins. ("It's fine for me to do this - after all, I'm different and special.")

So...these things have come together in my mind and I'm struggling with how to deal with this new conviction. I don't think a full chador is the appropriate calling for me but I do think that I'm supposed to do something. (If my photographer friend is reading this....yes, I'm fully aware of my tendency to constantly look for something to give up in my life. Asceticism....I know....just bear with me, ok?)

I suspect that I am supposed to bring a new level of modesty into my life and stop focusing on what others think of me (this will be the most difficult part for me). Really - that's what the sin of Pride comes down to for me...allowing the judgments (or perceived judgements) of other humans to overrule what I know to be the right choice for me.

Unfortunately ... that's easier said than implemented.

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