This is a continuation of the preceding post . . . For those who identify with Jesus, spiritual awakening in our times means a recovery of the root and center of the Christian spiritual tradition—a heritage too long neglected but kept alive by monks and mystics (who, incidentally, have generally been poor and most often not very powerful).
Take St. Anthony the Egyptian as a model of the poor, relatively uneducated, and often oppressed, who’s life inspired the Christian monastic impulse that has probably been solely responsible for the durability of the Christian faith in the world. For without the monks and their practices, often hidden from the world, we may well not have a Church today.
I her musing, Mitali hopes "that the contemplative life these days isn’t a luxury enjoyed only by the (relatively) rich and powerful," and wonders if there is a tradition of contemplation among the poor, the oppressed, and the uneducated.
It's a question of vital importance.
The history of Christian spirituality testifies that the life of contemplation and soul-care is no luxury for the rich and powerful—even though Providence is now awakening the affluent to the spiritual life they’ve too long ignored. And Christian clergy like me have largely failed this tribe; we've failed to invite them into this tradition and to find there the spiritual nurture they need. Instead we've pandered to their desire for programs and projects, and given them ideas to believe in without practices that can move faith from their heads to their living hearts.
(to be continued . . . )