Tuesday, August 7, 2012

By himself but not alone

Studies done between 1982 and 2006 on college student testing for narcissistic personality found the later group with 65% higher scores that the generation before. What I find interesting about that is that this same generation must be constantly connected.

In today's gospel Jesus goes up the mountain to pray alone. How often do we do that? And then I took a more careful look. The better translations do not say alone but say, "he went up on the mountain by himself to pray." Because he was not alone, he was with God. Maybe that is what we are afraid to do. Perhaps we are afraid to be alone with God.

After all, you can find lots of mediation class that tell you to turn inward on yourself. Those are quite popular. There is an importance difference in Christian idea of meditation. When a Christian turns inward it is not to themselves. For a Christian in mediation we turn inward to our conscience. As gaudium et spes describes it "Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths.(10) In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor."(GS 16)

We need to go into that sanctuary regular. We should not be afraid. God already knows our every thought, and loves us anyway. Jesus went up the mountain by himself to give us an example. At least once a day we need to take that time to be alone with God.