Tuesday, April 26, 2011

From religious orthodoxy to spiritual freedom -- A story of spiritual liberation

Reading Dylan Morrison's journey through the forests of orthodoxy to spiritual freedom brings back many memories, few of them pleasant. Jesus of Nazareth, with his radical message of love and compassion is difficult to find in churches bound up in dogma that depict him as a contradictory figure who spouts words of loving kindness at one moment, and returning to earth "with a terrible swift sword" in the next. "Confusing" is only one of the adjectives I've used to describe my own experience. Reading Dylan Morrison's fine book was an experience down memory lane. 

At times painful, at times strange, deeply human, with a wry wit that often had me laughing, "The Prodigal Prophet" is a book I am glad I read. It is definitely one that I recommend to others who struggle with the contradictory messages of Christian orthodoxy and fundamentalism. Dylan Morrison is a man with a large heart and an eye that sees deeply. In the end, it really is a matter of connecting ... with the world and our fellow men and the person we love. I am reminded of a poem by Scottish poet Kenneth White: 

Road Fragment

My thanks for this handful of April days
for the white wind blowing
for the dark earth and the tangled grass
and the woman beside me walking

(in "Open World: The Collected Poems 1960 - 2000")

If you're struggling with your spirituality or know someone who is, and are curious about how one man and his wife dealt with their struggle, "The Prodigal Prophet" is a good book to read.

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