staring chaos in the face

A wise friend (who lived through novitiate himself years ago) sent me a care package in the fall with a variety of spiritual books. I've been slowly working my way through them, savoring the insights and words of wisdom. One of the books is "Forgotten Among the Lilies: Learning to Love Beyond Our Fears" by Ronald Rolheiser. This bit stuck with me this morning:
To rid ourselves of resentment, bitterness, jealousy and paranoia requires a powerful fire. Only the gratitude that flows from knowing that we are loved, loved despite wound and sin, is a large enough flame to burn wound from our lives.

The rest follows: When we are vitalized by gratitude we will automatically move toward deeper prayer, wider loyalties and a more embracing heart.

Reconciliation begins when we stare our chaos in the face. In that, we will be brought face to face with our helplessness and our need for God. Prayer will then begin, crying out from the very depths of our being.

We will be laid bare and will realize that we are loved sinners, in solidarity with other loved sinners like ourselves. Gratitude, reconciliation and healing will follow.
Words of wisdom to be sure. Much of my unbloggable inner work during this year has been just that - staring my own chaos in the face. To be honest, I was surprised at the amount and state of my own chaos. It's so easy to package it into manageable boxes and get through life. But the point is not to get through life, but to live life, to share life, joyfully, with all our brothers & sisters. I'm still a work in progress - and formation is lifelong so I will always be a work in progress - but it is true that I feel drawn to deeper prayer, wider loyalites and a more embracing heart. Part of the mystery of the life of faith I suppose.

On that note, time to get ready for my afternoon of ministry at the hospital.

Peace Out to all my bloggy friends,

1 comment:

Judith said...

Hi Susan,

Chaos is, I guess, the human condition, and we all have interior work to do! But who was it? -- I'm thinking Irenaeus? -- who said, "The glory of God is a human being, fully alive." I think of this when the chaos gets to me!

Peace Out yourself!