by Ken Rolheiser
Pixel experiences and high definition souls 

Your TV screen is made up of millions of tiny squares called pixels, which can be millions of different colors. The computer tells the monitor to show a particular color for each of the pixels. The more squares in the grid, the better the image will look. 

It works a bit like a digital color by numbers. To achieve a high definition picture (HD) requires a greater number of pixels or a higher resolution. Each pixel is a combination of red, green and blue shading.

Just imagine that your life story is made up of many little experiences or squares. Each experience contributes to a clearer definition of your soul. The highest definition [HD] or perfection your soul achieves depends on the number of squares or experiences on the grid.

Knowledge grows from experience, not unlike what Tennyson describes in “Ulysses”: 
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.

To get the best picture of your life, you must have the greatest definition (HD) or most beautiful image possible. This process of refining images is best achieved by using the bible, or the Word of God as our standard.

“The sacred scriptures grow with the one who reads them,” said St Pope Gregory the Great. And the greatest translation of the bible is the translation we each make of Christ’s teachings into our own lives. We take the ideals and doctrines in scripture and apply them to our lives.

Life experience dictates that we interact in the physical world around us. Carl Jung once noted the cryptic phrase: “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down into hell.” That is worth pondering.

Therein lies the struggle. Our feet are mired in the mud from which we were created. Achieving a clean image takes much refining, cleansing and even polishing. We often judge our progress with an eye that is too critical.

What is hidden in us includes some weaknesses and sin, but also some virtuous qualities. God knows our darkness, but he also knows our light. God knows every good act and loving gesture of our lives. Trusting in God’s love will enable us to realize our real beauty.

This is true of our physical beauty as well. As teenagers we viewed our mirror images with scepticism. It took years of humble training to accept that the Lord made us beautiful, that our ears are not too big, and that our nose is actually cute. No one else is fashioned quite like us.

Deeper discernment will lead us to accept that “we were all young and beautiful once, but now we are just beautiful.” It is true! “Everyone will receive praise from God,” and God will “bring to light what is hidden in darkness [every good act].” (1Corinthians 4:5).

A final realization of life is that there is joy beyond our suffering state. Through their fall, Adam and Eve (we) experienced good and evil and the promise of redemption. The power of the Holy Spirit leads us to repentance and salvation.

We have the power to choose liberty and life, or the captivity of evil and death. God’s “favor is for a lifetime. / Weeping may tarry for the night, / but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5).

(574 words)