Descent into Darkness
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,
You Belong to God
At issue here is the question: “To whom do I belong? God or to the world?” Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down. Often I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me. . . .
As long as we belong to this world, we will remain subject to its competitive ways and expect to be rewarded for all the good we do. But when we belong to God, who loves us without conditions, we can live as he does. The great conversion called for by Jesus is to move from belonging to the world to belonging to God.
Text excerpts taken from “You are the Beloved”
by Henri J.M. Nouwen