What is kenosis and what does it have to do with living lightly? Theologically speaking kenosis is the act of self-emptying in order to become entirely receptive to God’s divine will.

So, what’s this got to do with Living Lightly? I started down this path because my To Do list was getting too long and I was feeling burdened by the current political and ecclesial scandals swirling around me. I wanted to fix things. I have chosen two major areas on which to focus my energy –
• Environmental sustainability
• Responding to the clerical sexual abuse/cover-up crisis in the Catholic Church.
This is heavy stuff and as much as I get satisfaction from decluttering a drawer, pruning my clothes, and simplifying my lifestyle in general, still my mind and my being were whirring with deadlines, commitments, and important things to do to make a positive difference in our complicated world. Sometimes it can feel like just too much.

That’s where kenosis comes in. Currently my goal is not so much a cleaner material space but to empty myself of distracting worries and anger at corrupt systems so I can figure out “What is mine to do?” Of all the good and laudable causes that I care about I cannot do everything. I must say NO to somethings so that my energy can be put to where my interests and talents best position me to make a difference. This takes prioritizing, letting go of thinking it’s all about me, i.e., self emptying. It also takes working in community with others.
I can’t do it all.

I shouldn’t do it all. Only when we humans join our hands, minds, and energy together and try to be receptive to the common good, aka God’s divine will, can we be instruments of healing for our planet and each other. We need to seek the sacred inherent in all life and creation. To do this I sense that we need time, quiet, and self-emptying. I’ve been trying to do these things for quite awhile, but now I need reinforcement.

  1. Daily silent time to listen to nature and to the Spirit within me.
  2. Let go of my desire to impress others by my accomplishments.
  3. #2 does not mean I don’t act, but I must carefully discern (perhaps with the counsel of others) What is mine to do?

What helps you to empty yourself of busyness and self-importance so as to be receptive to the sacred?