We live in a world of changed rhythm. Nature, once dictated by a harmonious and consistent rhythm, now lives in altered times and seasons. It’s the same way in human relationships. Calmness and serenity, prerequisites for constructing happy and long-lasting stable relationships, are giving way to frenzy, stress and infrequency, true and real destroyers of good relationships. When stress dominates our lives, we propagate negative waves and energies that produce destructive words, gestures, and actions.
There is no wisdom in the confusion, in the stress, in the noise and the irregularity of our time.
The world is languishing, as is nature, and so languishes the human species. Interpersonal conflicts are now regular, habitual, daily. Music is now noise, harmony is fracturing.
Throughout the course of his life, Jesus frequently self-isolated, searching for peace and rest in nature. In solitude, Jesus sought an intimate connection with himself and with God. “Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed” (Luke 5:16)
Jesus knew how much the moments spent by himself and with his Father were important for his emotional, mental, and spiritual equilibrium. He drew strength and peace from nature and the connection with his Father. “During those days, he went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12)
It was at a distance from the worries and noise of his time that Jesus managed to fill himself with faith and divine strength, in the Holy Spirit. “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white” (Luke 9:29)
Often, we ask ourselves, in suffering, the cause of our problems, conflicts, and strife with the society that surround us…with our family and the community.
Often, we search for the answer in the rational and logical sphere of our being, analyzing which behaviors, words, and gestures are more or less correct – ours and our neighbor’s.
The question that often emerges is: Whose fault is it? Who acted or spoke wrongly?
This process of (superficial) analysis often leads us to an exasperation of the control of ours and others’ words and actions. We desperately try to “not make any more mistakes” nor allow others to make mistakes. Therefore, we participate in a proliferation of rules, control, and instructions that, on one hand, we hope would protect us but, on the other hand, are rather “suffocating” us, a “mask” that is almost unbearable.
Every word, every action, and every gesture is subjected to rigid checks and continuous monitoring and, as someone once said, “control is the waiting room of hypocrisy”.
Is it possible that we are confusing the cause with the effect, the root with the fruit? The Bible says: “From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34)
If we don’t find an inner balance first—inner peace, serenity—it will be difficult to repress something irrepressible, just as we cannot control that which comes from the depths of our soul and heart.
It’s the awareness that we are not our own masters, but rather our “angels” and our “demons” (fear, anxiety, guilt, resentment) are, that should convince us to regularly seek intimate moments with nature and the Heavenly Father. Thus, our inner sphere—the most intimate part—will be purified and, therefore, every word we speak and every action we take will be managed by the forces of good instead of evil.
No, we don’t control our own being, we are not our own god. When we lose contact with the Father, when we distance ourselves from Him, we automatically fall into “sin”, and the “father of sin” will then have great power in controlling our words and our actions.
As the Apostle Paul said: “For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me.” (Romans 7:19-20)
Every moment, every day, we decide which master to serve. This choice will condition our life, beyond what we, wrongly, believe that we can control. The quality of our familial, communal, and interpersonal relationships is dependent on this choice. The likelihood of us living in peace or conflict with our neighbor is dependent on this choice. The question of whether love and forgiveness or bitterness and resentment will prevail is dependent on this choice.