Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kite Flying

When was the last time you flew a kite?  I don’t think I have since I was a little kid, or perhaps with a niece or nephew.   These last days of summer are perfect for kite flying!
Being a disciple of Jesus is like flying a kite.
Sometimes we are the kite.  Sometimes Jesus is the kite.  It is all about awareness, consciousness.  The first thing you do is pick up your kite, Jesus, and run with it to catch the wind: the Holy Spirit. 
Dietrich Bonheoffer said in his The Cost of Discipleship ‘Follow me, run along behind me.’   That is what we do, that is what the disciples did.   When John the Baptist pointed out the ‘Lamb of God’ to his disciples they followed Jesus. Jn 1:35-40 When Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee he called Peter, James and John to follow him and immediately they left their boats to follow him. Mt 4:18-22.  And when Jesus walked by the tax collector’s booth he called Matthew to do the same, and he followed him. Mt 9:9Each of them had some kind of new awareness, a faith-filled awakening that made them run along behind Jesus to follow.  They caught his wind!  Have we?  Attentiveness to Jesus, the Word as given to us in scripture brings us to a deeper consciousness with Jesus Christ.   We call this Lectio Divina: the holy and contemplative prayerful reading of sacred scripture where we let the Word touch us.  We consider its meaning in history AND ponder its meaning in our lives today and let it awaken our consciousness.  Sometimes it consoles us or inspires us.  Sometimes it challenges us and invites us to go beyond what we know.  The Word is ever alive and active in the follower of Christ.
Putting Jesus in the center of our lives is similar to the tension in the string attached to the kite.   If we keep the string taut the kite will stay up.  If we relax the tension the kite  falls to the ground.  If we loose our hold the winds tosses the kite all over the place.  If you remember from your childhood, it isn’t easy to keep a kite aloft.  Only with practice and attentiveness (prayer and faith) do we gain the skills to fly it high.
So it is as being a follower of Christ.  We are called to be disciples in our particular life calling whether it is as a Religious or as an Associate in all our life circumstances of community, family, friends, work, ministries…  Jesus is the center that touches everyone and everything else in ones life.   Bonheoffer said, ‘Christianity without the living Christ is Christianity without discipleship.  Christianity without discipleship is Christianity without Christ.’  We care called from a ‘cheap grace:’ an easy, comfortable feel good Christianity, to a ‘costly grace,’ one that means ‘to take up your cross and follow me.’  Mt 16:24
When we get the tension right, kite flying is still challenging but it is also freeing, beautiful: a Spirit-filled experience.  How do we attain these skills of holy kite flying?  ‘Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.’ Mt 21:22

This reflection springs from the presentation given to the Associates by Rev. James Gilmour, CSsR on their Commitment Day September 11, 2011.

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