Monday, February 6, 2012

Conscious engagement

"The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." [Mark 12: 28-31]

In the first part of the above commandment, Jesus points us firstly to the need for a 'conscious desire of the heart' for God [to live not according to my will but God's]. Secondly the need for 'conscious choices/decisions of the mind' [as against the natural choices] and thirdly the need for 'conscious actions' of the body [actions that confirm the above desires and choices].

In the second part of the above commandment, Jesus is saying "be concerned about the souls of others as much as you are concerned about your own soul not missing heaven". In other words, loving oneself means that I engage in a project integrating all my capacities to "save my soul". This conscious engagement stems from an awareness that I'm 'incapable of helping myself' and that I'm in 'need of Gods infinite mercy' to do so [true self knowledge].

It is this very 'gratuitous nature' of the saving act of God that compels me to extent this free gift to others. In most cases, preparing their souls [others] to accept this 'free gift' often requires us to begin by working on prerequisites like a healthy body, healthy mind and a healthy heart. This is precisely why we ought to be in healthcare [physical and mental], education, rehabilitation etc.

The tragedy of today is that, we continue to engage ourselves in the above acts [in the pretext of a mission], not as a result of our desire to extend the "free gift of salvation" we ourselves have received, to others, but as a fruitless act just like that of an insincere paid servant who concerns neither about saving his own soul or the souls of others.

One is incapable of serving others unless he truly loves himself [his soul] and comes to the true 'self knowledge'.