Friday, September 22, 2023

The Overiding Despair of Boredom

There is a part of me that has his eyes on myself and sometimes makes certain judgments based on what he sees.  It has to be that vain part of me that is way too concerned about how the self is behaving and how others see me.  Lately, it has been quite clear to me that this other self of me sees Fr Luke as a person who is feeling the dreariness of being bored in life.  How can one emerge healthily if one views life as somewhat boring and unexciting?  I believe this is a perennial question that bothers and upsets many many people.


My spiritual readings are wide and varied.  One of the things I read often are the spiritual musings of the spiritual gurus in life.  The acclaimed writer and thinker Fr Ronald Rolheiser is one of my regular pursuits, and it was most endearing to find that he wrote a blog on boredom.  In the way that a master of novices enlightens the minds of the disciples under him, Fr Rolheiser’s writing enlightened me with his insight on boredom.  In a nutshell, he asks his readers why is it that despite the world giving us human beings all sorts of gadgets and technological devices to link us to everything, we are still not insulated against boredom?  The result is that we still wrestle with boredom because stimulation doesn’t make for meaning.  We are bored because so many of us do not take a deeper interest in people and things. 


I am not sure if it is because I exist now as a Catholic Priest that I find that lately I have been taking a deeper and deeper interest in the very person and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.  In my moments of prayer and meditation, I am often just focused on the very life of Jesus, and in my mind’s eye, see him in his ministry activities, moving from place to place and speaking to the people of Israel, loving them, touching them and healing them.  But I do not do one thing that is even more necessary.  I do not enter into his mind and see as Jesus sees.  I only observe as an outsider, akin to a reporter viewing an activity so that he can write a report worthy of being published on paper for others to read.


Fr Rohr tells us that the word interest is derived from two Latin words: inter (inside) and esse (being) which, when combined, connote being inside of something.  This means that things are interesting when we are interested enough to really get inside of them.  The key to my being no longer bored in life is to get inside of the mind and heart of Jesus when I enter into my moments of meditation.


I realise that I may have been experiencing boredom in life largely because I was too internally impoverished and self-centered to take a genuine interest in the people I encounter and in the case of my prayer, when I fail to take a genuine interest in the person of Jesus.  And it was Einstein who said that ‘Experience is not what happens to us, it’s what we do with that happens to us’


This enlightenment puts a whole new dimension into my spiritual life.  It makes going to the Adoration Room such a large and expansive encounter.  I pray that you, my reader, are able to comprehend and are inquisitive enough to want to pursue this journey in your spiritual walk in life.  It will change everything for you, God willing.