Tuesday, March 6, 2007
A Grace Disguised ~ Pain ~ Darkness
And sometimes, when the cry is intense, there emerges a radiance which elsewhere seldom appears: a glow of courage, of love, of insight, of selflessness, of faith. In that radiance we see best what humanity was meant to be.... In the valley of suffering, despair and bitterness are brewed. But there also character is made. The valley of suffering is the vale of soul-making.
Only when we choose to pay attention to our souls will we learn how much more there is to life than the external world around us, however wonderful or horrible that world is. We will discover the world within. Yet such attention to the soul does not have to engender self-absorption. If anything, it eventually turns us toward the world again and makes us more compassionate and just than we might otherwise have been.
Not that the choices we make will always have happy results. That is especially true when we choose to face our losses squarely. When we plunge into darkness, it is darkness we experience. We feel pain, anguish, sorrow, and despair, and we experience the ugliness, meanness, and absurdity of life. We brood as well as hope, rage as well as surrender, doubt as well as believe. We are apathetic as often as we are hopeful, and sorrowful before we are joyful. We both mourn deeply and live well, We experience the ambivalence of living simultaneously in the night and in the light.
*taken from A Grace Disguised, How the Soul Grows Through Loss by Gerald L. Sittser