Big news in Cheviot today – Rubbish collection has changed from Monday to Wednesday. Recycling day is now also Wednesday, so mid-week has become Cheviot’s weekly clean-up moment.
A good number of locals were a bit confused getting used to the day-change and a number of trash bags were on the street on Monday. Some people are very good at recycling their household rubbish, and a couple of my neighbours make great use of composts to recycle organic material for their gardens. Others are hesitant to discard anything and their homes might become sets for TV’s Hoarders programme.
I remember learning as a child that forgetting is an essential function of a healthy mind. I’ve practiced this and now do it very well. The point is that if the human mind retained absolutely everything, we would soon run out of room for new knowledge.
Living in relationship with Christ requires some of this ability to discern what to hold on to and what to discard. Too often in the course of a day, bombarded with the opinions and pressures from others, we can feel overwhelmed and become confused with a loss of perspective. Ignatius of Loyola spoke of “discernment of spirits” as the heart of living fully: put simply, this is the ability to know which of the voices that we hear are for our good, and which, if followed, will lead to our downfall. In other words, which sounds (pressures, comments etc) are from God, and which are from the evil spirit.
The healthy and happy person is the one who does not take every comment or pressure on board, but who instead considers the stuff of every moment deciding whether to adopt or discard what is offered.