Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Descent and Ascent - Leona speaks

Kathleen Fischer, a theology instructor at Seattle University, a Catholic thinker, writer, counselor and spiritual coach, wrote a beautiful book entitled Winter Grace. I believe she captures this grace and gravity polarity beautifully. Allow me to quote a few paragraphs:

"We cannot learn to understand aging if we undervalue or overvalue its realities, or if we simply try to make it appear as much like midlife or youth as possible. The fact is that aging is BOTH descent and ascent, both loss and gain. This is true of growth at every stage of the life cycle: childhood, adolescence, midlife and old age. Time is both life and death. Change encompasses both emerging and perishing. At every point in the human journey we find that we have to let go in order to move forward; and letting go means dying a little. In the process we are being created anew, awakened afresh to the source of our being. Aging is a paradox, the unity of apparent contradictions. Jesus challenges his followers with this paradox when he says, ‘For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.' (Mt. 16:25). Emptiness can somehow be fullness, weakness can be strength, and dying can lead to new life. A spirituality of aging must help us find a way to turn losses into gains, to learn how the stripping process which often accompanies aging can be a gradual entrance into freedom and new life, and how, in fact, aging can be winter grace."
-Kathleen Fisher, Winter Grace, Upper Room Books, 1998, Page 8

The work of midlife is learning to balance gravity and grace. To find a deep spiritual meaning in aging, in shedding the cocoon of youth and flying free in maturity and beauty.

1 comment:

Donna said...

Hallelujah! What a great start...well-written and engaging. I am hooked, eager for tomorrow's post, knowing that you will be truthful about echoing the realities of being 66 and somehow give them a joyful sound.