The gentle breeze (Part 2)-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Saturday, October 12, 2013
THERE are other Carmelites who give a different interpretation of the gentle breeze which Elijah experienced in the desert of Mount Carmel.
They see the gentle breeze as a symbol of God’s love and tenderness for the little and the weak of this world and Elijah saw God’s presence that woke him up from his sleep and gave him food and the strength to walk for forty days and forty nights straight to reach Mount Horeb.
There Elijah unmasked the oppressive structures of the power politics of the leaders of Israel, the false ideology that was behind it. He proclaimed the true God of Israel, the God who had liberated the people from slavery in Egypt and had started a society based on brotherhood and sisterhood, on equality and respect for each other.
According to John of the Cross, man can encounter God only when he gets rid of all those false images of God which live in his heart and his mind. Every man is exposed to temptations of power, standing in society, corruption, consumption and affirmation.
One who wants to live according to the Carmelite spirituality, must get rid of all those images and presentations of God. For this he will have to go through crises and dark nights. He will be exposed to ridicule and rejection from his neighbors especially from those who are in power.
Actually I believe, what counts for a Carmelite counts for every Christian who wants to live a conscious Christian life. Listening to the call of God, what does God want from us at this time in history and in this situation where our government is full of corruption?
How can we help in building a better and more just society where everybody can be himself? For the Carmelite, action and contemplation go always together. For the Christian, faith and practice must always go together. While seriously searching for God in his life, he will ever more clearly see the face of God in the poor and the oppressed. Our world is like a desert.
The desert is the place where man is totally thrown back on himself, where he starts the struggle against evil in all its different forms. It is not so far-fetched to see the world as a desert, a place where evil reigns. When there is evil in our world that is not according to God’s will. God is a God of justice and life. It is the ‘bad people’ who create structures wherein man oppresses the other or uses force against him so that he cannot be himself.
Poverty, exploitation and oppression are results of ‘structural evil’ created by men. The world as it is today, is our desert. The struggle against evil in our world which shows itself in injustice, violence, exploitation, dehumanization and oppression, can be our search for God.
We, the ordinary people, can be the people of God. We can be the ‘good people’ who can destroy those structures of evil in our society. We are the ones who can follow the “daang matuwid” path of Noynoy and be the hope for salvation of our country.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 13, 2013.