Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA)

Modern Lives. Sacred Traditions.


Earthquakes: when ground is no longer solid

By Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA on Thursday, September 8th 2016

 

cracked-pavement-earthquake

Photo courtesy of www.dreamstime.com

Earthquakes have shaken the lives of people from Italy, near New Zealand and here in the U.S. News stories full of destruction quickly circulated our world. I searched coverage for any small sign of hope in the rubble that littered the streets; glimpsed the good hearts of people like beacons of light, shining brightly in the darkness of pain and loss as everyone searched feverishly for those who were trapped. Sitting a world away in front of my computer, I cheered for the rescues and the fight of the human spirit even in the most horrendous of circumstances. I took stock of my own environment and wondered what elements of normal routine—working, playing, cooking and sleeping—erupted. When suddenly the solid ground beneath them trembled, forever altering their lives.

Long after the media lights go out let us continue to pray for those who will do the back-breaking work of clearing debris, who will make the heart-breaking decision to grow beyond grief and rebuild their lives. I can’t imagine the reassessment that must occur; the reevaluation that has to take place. Is the unsatisfying clutter that existed “before the earthquake” closely examined to see if its value “after the earthquake” is worth restoring?

Bigger questions often emerge out of the ruins with survivors: Why am I still here?

While many people will never experience seismic surges in the physical sense, most of us find ourselves in symbolic situations when the earth no longer feels solid or safe, when life shakes us to the core. The shock waves you’re feeling may come from within, might surface as a spiritual earthquake. And discernment can actually echo tangible reverberations. The landscape of your beliefs may quake, your deep-seated values exposed to the elements.

You may find cracks in what you thought were concrete foundations, and must make choices that align with your conscious and unceasing call of the Gospel. Walls once separating you from the needs of your neighbors may crumble to dust. A new mindfulness of global needs may emerge as discernment reveals new places of solid ground. There may also be aftershocks—discernment is not a onetime event. It calls for continual responsiveness and readiness for what becomes unearthed.

Could it be that shakings of your spirituality awaken you to what is perhaps buried in unconscious activity?

How has your life changed in the “after” time of a spiritual earthquake?

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