Crumbs Off The Table - 15

The Tied Up Cat
In a remote monastery, every time the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their morning and evening meditations, a cat that lived in the monastery made such a noise running about the hall that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening and morning prayers. Years later, the teacher died, and the disciples continued to tie the cat up during all the meditation sessions. Then the cat eventually died, and another cat was brought to the monastery. This too was tied up during mediation. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance and benefits of tying up a cat for meditation practice. Empty rituals! How unfortunate that so many people today go through such empty rituals. Let me be clear; I do not believe that rituals in and of themselves are wrong. It is the µempty¶ rituals to which we so often stubbornly cling to; even when we have lost all sense of their true meaning and the initial purpose they were instituted for, which are out of place. It is the same as the traveler who comes across a swollen river that he needs to cross, but the current is too strong for swimming. He builds a raft that carries him safely over. On arrival at the far bank he picks up the raft and carries it on his back for the rest of his life in case he has to cross another swollen river! µOld habits die hard!¶ They certainly do if we don¶t make ourselves aware of them. Dear reader, are there things which you do now that served you once but are no longer applicable? Take a sincere look at any religious µritual¶ that is present in your life and ask yourself; µIs this really necessary for my spiritual well-being? Do I really understand what I am doing and is the reason for doing it clear to me? Do I need to rediscover the true meaning of it or is it time to let it go?¶ The Lord says: ³These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.´ (Isaiah.29:13) Friend, remember that God wants your µheart¶ BEFORE any outward performances or rituals. µMy son, give me your heart,¶ (Prov.23:26) Only inasmuch as our lives are truly and wholly consecrated to God will we avoid the µcurse¶ of µempty rituals¶. Only then will any religious observance or ritual µmakes sense¶ and be profitable.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful