Friday, January 25, 2013

How to live life . . . an Archbishop's advice

In the Introduction to "Beginning to Pray" by Archbishop Anthony Bloom, the edition I found at a library book sale today, begins with an interview conducted by Timothy Wilson.  He asks Bloom if he has any difficulty communicating since the Christian faith is often not easily understood.  Here is the Archbishop's striking answer:

"What I aim at is to live within a situation and to be totally engrossed in it and yet free from involvement.  The basic thing is that I never ask myself what the result of any action will be--that is God's concern.  the only question I keep asking myself in life is: what should I do at this particular moment?  What should I say?  All you can do is to be at every single moment as true as you can with all the power in your being--and then leave it to God to use you, even despite yourself.

"Whenever I speak I speak with all the conviction and belief which is in me.  I stake my life on what I am saying.  It's not the words themselves that are important but reaching down to the level of people's convictions.  This is the basis of communication, this is where we really meet one another.  If people want to ridicule me, that's fine; but if it produces a spark in them and we can talk, then it means we are really talking about something which concerns us deeply."

This is the kind of communication worth learning and practicing for a lifetime.  Living with conviction, acting with conviction, and connecting deeply with others.

Beginning to Pray by Archbishop Anthony Bloom, Paulist Press, New York/Ramsey, 1970.