–– Sito di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA –– Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa A missionary look on the life of the world and the church –– VIDA y MISIÓN – VIE et MISSION – VIDA e MISSÃO ––
Why don’t we live happier lives? Why are we forever caught up in frustrations, tensions, angers, and resentments?
Our initial answer would probably focus on the tensions in our lives that have to do with tiredness, with our health, with stress in our relationships, stress in our work, and anxieties about security. There’s always something!
A second reflection would, I suspect, drag up deeper reasons: unacknowledged disappointment with how our lives have turned out, with what our lives have come down to, and with the many dreams we had which were frustrated.
But a still deeper reflection, I believe, would shine a light on something else, something that lies beyond the ordinary stresses and deeper disappointments in our lives. It would, I submit, reveal an underlying, unacknowledged insecurity which works at perennially turning the positive into the negative, has us habitually cursing rather than blessing, and has us projecting a negativity and bitterness right in the God and religion we believe in. What is this insecurity?
This insecurity is, at root, a feeling that we are not sufficiently welcome in this world, that God and the universe are somehow hostile to us, that we are not unconditionally loved and forgiven. And, because of this, we harbor a certain paranoia and hostility towards others. Their energy is a threat to the welcome we desire.
Thomas Merton says when, at the root of our being, we accept that we are debtors and that the debt is unpayable, we will finally accept God’s welcome and love and, accepting our own welcome, we will no longer resent others. It’s only when we know our own welcome that we can let acceptance, and not judgment, flow out of our lives.
And then, and only then, can we let our God be too the God of others.
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