Sunday, January 17, 2010

The practice of Christianity as a beautiful mess

Various stereotypes and images exist of Christians and their practice of faith. The image I have of Christians who take their faith deeply serious is one of a beautiful mess.... They do great things with great passion and sometimes suffer great setbacks.

For example, here are some biographical details about Christian author Brennan Manning:
- Catholic priest
- spiritual director
- campus minister
- graduate student in creative writing
- member of an order that lived an "uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor." Manual labor by day, silence and prayer at night
- water carrier to rural villages
- voluntary prisoner in a Swiss jail
- six months of contemplative seclusion in a desert cave
- founder of an intentional community in Alabama, based on the primitive life of the Franciscans
- collapse into alcoholism followed by six months of treatment
- husband (after he left the priesthood)
- speaker, writer

Wow! So much good, some real bad. This fits with my own experiences that when my faith is going well, it's two steps forward and one step back. (Reverse this for when things are going badly)

(Description taken from his book Abba's child)

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