Monday 20 April 2020

Second Week of Easter

Word for today
The Gospel of John 3:1-8

To Be born again

As a result of wounds that it has inflicted and received and having been crushed by humiliation, our mind knows only one way to respond to life: that is to put itself in a state of challenge or rebellion.
 When it is in a condition of defiance, the human mind necessarily chooses as its only escape route goals that are not divine desires written by the Spirit in the heart of our spirit but desires of the flesh, that is goals and objectives suitable to arm and protect the person for rebellion. These are some examples: true, real prosperity for everyone is what the Spirit desires; prosperity just for oneself is an object of the flesh; sharing is a desire of the Spirit, ambition is a desire of the flesh.
The desires of the flesh are born out of our inner challenges and rebellions and are entangled in competition, conflict, aggression and fanaticism. When the mind is in a state of challenge, it creates a desire, a desire of the flesh, and immediately a predetermined path, an ideal bridge, which is so powerful that it heads straight towards that goal, comes into being. From that moment on, all that we will live and experience in our lives -- unexpected events, desires, relationships, projects, choices -- will be with reference to the achievement of that goal, and everything, absolutely everything, will be experienced either as an obstacle or as an opportunity with respect to that goal. In this state of mind, life, in its beautiful unity and infinite possibilities, disappears; time runs back and forth between the past and the future, and the power and reality of the present as well as of individual potential and talents vanish. In fact, whatever helps to achieve the goal is considered good luck and  what does not is considered bad luck or a defect. In this state of mind even God, if He is in keeping with our purposes, is nothing but a possible potential to take advantage of; in any other case He becomes responsible for every obstacle, someone who comes between  us and our purpose.
With regard to the line that exists between the mind and achieving that purpose, there is no point in considering that there are vital or mortal realities for everyone and for the life itself of man and of nature. Indeed every man in every  moment decides what is an obstacle to attack as an enemy or an opportunity representing sacredness and morality.
It is this mental process that creates  separation between individuals, groups and peoples, preventing the most basic form of dialogue, reciprocity and sharing.
If a person in this state of challenge decides that earning money is the first goal of his/her life, then, in the name of this goal and of his/her mental orientation, everything, absolutely everything he/she will experience will be interpreted as an obstacle-enemy if it prevents or slows down the persual of that goal or will be accepted and sought after as an opportunity-benefit if it is interpreted as useful in accelerating  achievement of the goal. It is obvious that all the mental abilities and personal resources of that person will be completely dedicated to and focused on that objective: this is the process that makes the human mind divided, stupid, useless and fanatical. In this state of mind, a single emotion becomes the master of our lives: fear. When fear explodes inside of us, it is called rage, when it is hidden secretly, it is called depression. Fear is called indifference when we are not aware of it; it is called hypocrisy when we pretend that it is not there. When it becomes the only way we know how to live, fear is called poverty; when it is nourished and offers us a subtle pleasure, it is called revenge, and when it is held inside as the only right and justifiable thing because we are right, it is called illness. Fear, when chosen as life’s only option is called death. Jesus insists, He gives a precise explanation to Nicodemus that the very game of life on this earth, the very meaning of  human existence is being born again, being born again, from above, from the wind of the Spirit. We must be born again, says Jesus to Nicodemus, but although he wants to understand, he does not, he does not sense what Jesus means. Instead he misunderstands and asks: How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother's womb and be born again, can he? Jesus is not speaking of a rebirth from the womb, but of the Spirit, from the elusive wind of the Spirit, the Paraclete.
But what does it mean? Being born again is a decision taken within oneself, out of love for God, to definitely abandon the state of defiance and, in total trust in God's love, to leave the state of revolt. Only then can life be born again and the Spirit, the Paraclete, can guide us towards desires of true peace and happiness.
The desires of the Spirit, inspired by the Spirit, the Paraclete, also create an inner way. An inner road, in which some realities are obstacles and others are opportunities, is created in the way linking us to achieving desires of the Spirit; it is thus that what takes place in the parable which explains how finding a treasure in a field radically changes the life of a man who wants to take it home.
The absolute difference between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit lies in the fact that, according to the flesh, obstacles and opportunities, that is what is deadly and what is mortal, is decided arbitrarily and falsely by conventions and personal interests and advantages, even in oppostion to what God established to be vital or deadly.
According to the Spirit, desires of the heart will never be born from a state of defiance and rebellion, but only by divine inspiration whose aim is man’s true happiness. According to the Spirit, no treasure will never be achieved in opposition to the laws of love, peace and mankind’s real well-being.