Saturday, February 14, 2015

Old Souls

I used to be offended – irritated is maybe the better world – when someone described me as an old soul.

To clarify: By old soul I don’t mean this new-agey thing that I’ve been hanging around this planet for tens of thousands of years. I do mean, however, that an old soul is a soul that looks at what’s being offered today and thinks, well, it could be better. Not necessarily that it was better back then, but just better in general. It’s a Huxley-Postman look at life: Not wanting to be amused to death but not necessarily fearing that what we hate will destroy us.

Abraham Simpson is an old soul, viz:

A lot of it comes in doubt. I used to fear doubt. But accepting doubt and working through it is a hallmark of an old soul. We trust, but we verify. I verified that “viz” meant what I thought it did, though I’ve used it many times in the past, because maybe in the past I’ve used it wrong. I’m not. And that’s a relief.

We trust, we verify – but we’re grounded.

And what am I grounded in?

To those who claim that “ye cannot know,” the Lord has answered “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. That is a marvelous promise.

Indeed, a marvelous promise. A promise made in seeking. Studying. Thinking and pondering and asking questions and ultimately, accepting the answers that come from the oldest soul of all.
Additionally, Bishop Causse says: 

We have the assurance that “the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not”. The spirit can have an even more powerful effect on us than our physiological senses. To the Apostle Peter, who had just declared his faith, Jesus replied, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”.

Do I have doubts? Yes I do. But doubts do not dominate my life. If they did, oh what despair would I have?

Old Souls, I hope, pass the test.

That doesn’t mean some doubt leads to poor feelings – but poor feelings are to despair what a sprinkler is to a thunderstorm.

JRR Tolkien was an old soul, who expressed his seeking through his books. And what seeking he did. I’m grateful he shared his answers:

Frodo expresses our fears when doubt comes to us: We wish that this had never happened.

Gandalf, the Old Soul, reminds him of what he – and we – are to do: So do all who have lived to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to do is to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, beside the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the ring, in which case you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

The secret for old souls, as we seek, is to be part of that other force – the force of divine providence. The force of God.

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