Pain teaches a most counterintuitive
thing—that we must go down before we even know what up is. It is first an
ordinary wound before it can become a sacred wound. Suffering of some sort seems
to be the only thing strong enough to destabilize our arrogance and our
ignorance. I would define suffering very simply as “whenever you are not in
All healthy religion shows you what to do with
your pain. If we do not transform our
pain, we will most assuredly transmit it. If your religion is not showing
you how to transform your pain, it is junk religion. It is no surprise that a
crucified man became the central symbol of Christianity.
If we cannot find a way to make our wounds
into sacred wounds, we invariably become negative or bitter—because we will
be wounded. That is a given. All suffering is potentially redemptive, all
wounds are potentially sacred wounds. It depends on what you do with them. Can
you find God in them or not?
If there isn't some way to find some deeper
meaning to our suffering, to find that God is somehow in it, and can
even use it for good, we will normally close up and close down, and the second
half of our lives will, quite frankly, be small and silly.
If you go to the link in the title of this meditation it will take you to a page where I receive these daily emails from.The one above, in light of all
this past year
, spoke to me this morning. I believe that my inability to find a way to make my wound into a sacred wound was what was leading me to bitterness. I don't know if I have found any deeper meaning to it all.
One of the insights I gained last weekend during my silent retreat was that I was holding a grudge against the surgeon for my reaction to the way things went with the mixed up pathology report and everything that happened after that. I am grateful for that insight.
Tonight at Mass I had a strong feeling of consolation. Blessed relief.
good stuff, Hope. Real good.
Put that same quote in my journal on the day I also received it in my email inbox.
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