This week, we have been building up our Energy/Effort/Persistence (viriya) by focusing on the virtue (middah) of Order (seder). That may seem like a strange choice, but with a little discernment, we realized it was the right thing to do.
Effort is one of the Five Strengths, and as such, it controls Laziness. When we thought about this, we found many examples of Effort in our lives, and while I would not say our Effort is perfect, we had a difficult time finding the flaw we needed to work on, or how exactly we could work on building up the virtue.
When we turned our eye to what it is meant to control, Laziness, we saw that while we couldn't call ourselves lazy, there were significant aspects of our lives that were blocked. There are messes so big and projects so daunting, so we choose not to expend any effort at all toward them.
Ah ha! That is the biggest problem with our practice of Right Effort. When we couldn't see a way forward, we turned a went another way. The messes seemed insurmountable. So what we needed to focus on was our understanding and practice of Order (seder).
As our Musar text, we picked How to make sense of any mess, by Abby Covert. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to do this. The book is simple straightforward and easy to read. It will change the way you see any mess in your life.
I am not going to go on about the book. I might later, but right now, I feel like I should focus more on the spiritual things. The book to eminently practical.
That is not to say that spirituality isn't, but I know that I often spend way too much time in my head wrestling with arcane theological and mystical insights, but what I have learned this week is that my understanding of spiritual order has a direct effect on my practice of order in my daily life.
The Order of Zion
I have been baptized and confirmed in Jesus Christ and thus, I am a citizen of Zion still living in Babylon. I hope to build a little piece of Zion here, but for now I am surrounded by Babylon. I am consecrated to Jesus through Mary, and I awake everyday with the familiar prayer, "I am all yours, and all that I have is yours, O Jesus, through Mary, our Holy Mother."
Zion is the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not a political change here, nor is it a geographical location. I am a warrior/ambassador of Zion, and if you are Friend of Christ and his Cross, you are too. I cannot cower in the face of the mess of the world.
My work and practice is to make myself into the best warrior/ambassador that I can be, and hopefully make other interested in the taking citizenship in Zion as well. I have to not only fill myself with the energies of God, but connect my life to them so they can flow through me unimpeded.
The Order of Zion is not learning the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality and taking up the ten practices. It is learning to live Dabhar, Royal Personhood, Kenosis, Creativity, and Transformation (among so many other things). It is not enough to know what Dabhar is. It is the creative word of God. I have to learn to connect with Dabhar, and to live it out in my life.
I have a lot of ideas about how to do this, and I will share them as I write them out. I would love to hear your comments and ideas. I am moving forward through the practice of Musar, since I have seen it have the most effect on my heart and my life.
O, Light of God that could not be overcome, shine through me and conquer the darkness around me. Amen.