We all have darkness in us. Shadows live with the light.I am preparing to give a talk on First Week for the 19th Annotation on being a loved sinner. God is the Creator and we are the creatures. I have had a lot of thoughts rumbling around my head as I begin to write the final presentation.
I have been remembering Fr. Greg Boyle’s comment that no one joins a gang to belong; they join because they are fleeing something. So often we are not aware of what causes us to sin, of what are motivations are, of the fears that drive us, and of the shadows that are within us. If we do not dig around and uncover this mystery, then sin has the upper hand. Satan can deceive you into thinking the good you do is from God when really you are joining a gang to belong.
One of the lessons I am learning from my illness is that I am somewhat indispensable. The fact that the world goes on without me on many levels proves that. Sometimes events happen and they are all the better in my absence; sometimes the opposite is true. I also realize that I still have much goodness to share with the world and even today a few events while I was out of the house proved that. I find that I am experiencing humility in a good way. Life is not all about me and today I had time to just soak in four unexpected encounters with people.
Our egos are fragile and we can do things because we want to be applauded or loved or happy. These days I am aware of a gratitude that springs up instead. Precious moments shared are what are at the centre of time right now. This type of relating is different, subtly. I am not in a hurry. Encounters do not feel stressed. A peacefulness pervades for the most part. Today, after mass, one of the women in my parish who has a mental illness came up to me to report on a number of things and as I saw people moving away from us, I decided I would give her my full attention for some time before my energy levels waned. I could practice a moment of compassion while at the same time drawing healthy lines around my needs. The conversation was not a burden.
We are all beloved sinners that the Creator longs to be whole and freed from the sin that binds us. A little bit of exploration will uncover our personal sin habits and allow us to move with more grace in order to bring to the world the Love that is so necessary. We are all called to praise, reverence and serve the Creator as the creature. We can only do that well if we begin to examine our lives honestly.
What is your personal sin that prevents you from running the race freely?
Have you noticed a difference in your life when you become aware of how sin rules your actions?
The shadow side nestles down
undisturbed if we let it.
We must be diligent to uproot it,
to till the soil of our lives,
to harvest the good fruit within.
Creator, teach this creature
to dig and uncover the darkness within
so the Light can transform me.