With God’s help we can do things that we did not think we could do.
Nelson Mandela once said that we are afraid of the power within us.
I think that he meant that if we acknowledge the power within us then we would be more inclined to act on what we know is right. Acting like this can have a cost attached to it. For Nelson Mandela one of the costs was many long years in prison because of his fight against apartheid in South Africa.
There is a tendency in many of us to look at past mistakes, past sins, human imperfections, in a way that can become a deenergising burden.
St. Ignatius of Loyola calls this deenergising burden, the result of the action of the ‘bad spirit’. It is prone to encourage guilt, harsh judgements, of self and others. It tends to promote a depressive attitude and heaviness in life.
The ‘good spirit’ is liberating, acknowledging past mistakes, repenting, accepting healing and forgiveness, making amends and moving on and embracing life.
Thoughtful people can sometimes initially be prone to temptation from the ‘bad spirit’. It can be the shadow of a potential strength.
A person who does not reflect deeply enough, can suppress or downplay the past and be full of action, but maybe living on the surface of life. This can result in simplistic solutions to big questions. It can promote a certain ‘know all’ attitude.
Finding a healthy balance in the pursuit of truth and love, a love for living a full human life in commitment to God, self, others and all creation takes wisdom. It also takes faith and courage.
I do not mean a ‘blind faith’. One can have faith in ‘Santa Clause’ or imaginary phantoms, or even superstitions.
I mean faith in God, who loves us first.
We can reflect on nature and the wisdom of philosophers with great benefit.
I believe that reflecting on Jesus, His actions and words lead us into the most concrete and richest insights into the mystery of God.
He spoke in a manner and with wisdom that touched the deepest longing of the human heart.
His message was confirmed by many signs, the biggest of which was His death and Resurrection.
He spoke so often about forgiveness and healing being offered to all.
He spoke about God’s faithfulness, despite our unfaithfulness. He never gave up on the Apostles who let Him down, misunderstood Him, and even disowned him (Peter’s denial that he even knew him).
Jesus brings the best out of us.
He said that making good choices, loving choices, has a cost attached to it. We need to die to the false self, the ego. He spoke about taking the narrow road that leads to life, instead of the easy road.
It takes courage to make right decisions. It often costs us something, sometimes a lot!
It cost Jesus His life to love as He died.
We are not alone, Jesus who is our way, truth and life, promised never to abandon us!