Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Endings & Beginnings...

I feel it's time to bring this blog to a close. Although the physical journey to Italia is over (this time anyway :-)), I know that the spiritual journey - so powerfully nourished by this trip - is ongoing...

One of the most powerful insights I gained during my retreat was on the subject of Forgiveness. In keeping with the theme of Losing & Finding, one of Fr. Laurence's talks focussed on Forgiveness - that act of "paying attention" to the other and letting go... of the pain... of the anger... of the walls that keep us apart. When we can't forgive, we all experience loss. Interestingly, it wasn't until three days later that this message hit home. And it had nothing to do with forgiving another person; it had everything to do with becoming willing to forgive the Roman Catholic Church.

In a response to a question from another retreatant, Fr. Laurence said these words: "In order to 'get' Jesus, you really need to forgive the Church - a human and flawed messenger." Huh? Come again?! Those words entered my consciousness with precision and sliced through the convenient wall I have built between myself and the Catholic Church. They created a slit through which the persistent light of Hope could fall. The problem is, I didn't know if I even wanted to look at that... yet there it was, shining right on me. That's the thing about spiritual insight: once you experience something to be true, you can't un-experience it. In that moment, I began to allow myself to feel the pain of betrayal... the waves of anger... the tears of frustration. And I knew that I was in the presence of Truth - and I wasn't liking how it felt one bit! It was incredibly uncomfortable and I forced myself to sit in that discomfort... to hold that spiritual tension and let the tears flow. I now know that if I truly want to heal spiritually, I need to become willing to Forgive the Church for its utter humanness. That will take time.

And that, my friends, is why I know this journey is far from over...

"Forgiveness is about facing the darkness, not running away. It's about accepting the loss, and staying in that state, until the cycle of Finding & Losing / Losing & Finding, comes 'round again." - Fr. Laurence Freeman

Thanks for joining me - and I hope you'll continue to stop by jag e*space, where life is a little more ordinary (and therefore, extraordinary!).
Pace e bene,

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