With the general elections down the corner, the sights and sounds of the surroundings grab our eyes and ears. Silence is a difficult commodity these days.
Elections are always a number game. Lots of peoples speak of numbers these days. Forming a government in a democracy is purely a number game. It is not the majority that always forms a government but those who shore up maximum numbers. The TV and the print media add fire to this number game: they make people guess the right magic number that will let any party form a government.
Numbers are not a domain of politics or of science alone. Christianity too has lots to do with numbers: 7 Sacraments, 40 days in Lent, 12 gifts of the Holy Spirit, 14 stations of the cross, 7 sayings of the cross, God in 3 Persons, 12 days in Christmas ....and the list goes on. Can I call them ‘religious numbers’ or by any other name? However we call them, these numbers have been significant to both the Old Testament and in the New Testament.
One thing my evangelical friends do ask me is the importance of these traditional religious numbers. Do they serve any purpose for daily living? I tell them that these are just signposts on Pilgrim’s Way. The Church keeps these numbers as just spiritual tags...to keep check of the moving days and months on our way Home.
Our normal life would be poor without calendars... without a sense of passing days. Imagine spending a day in the office without being conscious of the date! In the office, I glance at the wall-calendar more than once every day. A business premises with a display of an outdated calendar is the first sign of a drooping business. A religious life too would be poverty-stricken without numbers.
Religious numbers points to religious calendar. They are spiritual uttering of a pilgrim. Being conscious of the Church Almanac is being conscious of the spiritual seasons of our times. Church Almanac blends contemporary spirituality with living tradition. That is the real beauty of the ‘religious numbers’.
I take to heart all the ‘seasons’ in the Christian Living. The sacramental living is a ‘God with Us’ experience. This is a continual journey : a journey where the traveller does not end his travel before he reaches the destination. In the earthly journey, the traveller travels trough different seasons. For a pilgrim, he travels through the spiritual journey consisting of spiritual seasons. The religious numbers are little steps that I take to climb into these seasons of joy.
Religious numbers are the signposts where I conduct personal audit of my daily living and of my daily dying... and they give in to the rhapsody of a life that is ebbing to eternity.