REFLECTION: ‘We seem to be in thrall to the destructive twin powers of shame and blame. Whatever the mistake, crisis or disaster, our desire to find someone to scapegoat seems to be very strong at this time. I sense that this is often a search for someone or something onto whom we can transfer some of our own shame, a search for someone whose wrongdoing (we convince ourselves) is always greater than our our own. This destructive cycle of shame and blame is a problem, and it needs addressing. I hope that the practice of Reconciliation (Reconcile, Be Reconciled) may be one step in this direction…’
PRACTICE: ‘The possibility of a deep reconciliation that deals with shame and blame runs through Jesus’s teaching and practice. His focus seems to be on the restoring of communion with other human beings, with the earth and with God. If reconciliation is for Jesus always the bigger picture, the starting point is often around some act of forgiveness – and in turn forgiveness becomes part of something much bigger. So the smallest act of forgiveness is a re-imagining and re-making of the world! This needs to begin in the small things. In the daily irritations and in the mundane conflicts – in the jostle for a parking space and in the debate over who does the washing up. This is where the practice of forgiveness begins to find its shape. This must be the starting point for all of the wider reconciliations for which we are yearning. There are no short-cuts!’
©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)
Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!
Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.