The Role of a Competent Guide
When we descend into this place of darkness we need to be accompanied by someone who is competent. Otherwise, we won’t have the strength to look at our shadow areas and to cope with them. They are too frightening! But in gentle dialogue with a competent person, we will gradually connect with this world which up to now has been hidden from our consciousness.
Jean Vanier, Seeing Beyond Depression, p. 65
Celebrate in the Present
Celebrating is first of all the full affirmation of our present condition. We say with full consciousness: we are, we are here, we are now, and let it be that way. We can only really celebrate when we are present in the present. If anything has become clear, it is that we have to a large extent lost the capability to live in the present. Many so-called celebrations are not much more than a painful moment between bothersome preparations and boring after-talks. We can only celebrate if there is something present that can be celebrated. We cannot celebrate Christmas when there is nothing new born here and now; we cannot celebrate Easter when no new life becomes visible; we cannot celebrate Pentecost when there is no Spirit whatsoever to celebrate. Celebration is the recognition that something is there and needs to be made visible so that we can all say yes to it.
by Henri J.M. Nouwen