by Gilles Côté
We are too
readily tempted to reject the shadowy side of our lives. However, trying
to root out with violence the negative side of life can only destroy the
very life we seek. Rejection of limitiations and weaknesses is a rejection
of self. These negative realities are not just things that are external
to us. They are part of the fabric of who we are.
There is a
pivot that allows us to live both of these poles, the shadowy and the
luminous, without denying either one. That pivot is love, "the epiphany
of God in our poverty". (Merton) It is what allows us to find peace "in
the heart of anguish". God's love refuses to reject any part of who I
am. Jesus entered into my experience of suffering, shadows, and death.
He conquered them from within. He did not distance himself from the negative
dimension of life; he fully assumed it. His resurrection has meaning only
in reference to his passion and death, just as his suffering and death
are meaningful only in the light of his resurrection.
me to trust in that love that encompasses both my negative and my positive
side. He invites me to hope that I can come to him as I am and to recognize
that it "is not perfection that matters but trying to give oneself totally,
with all the defects and the successes." (Merton) Then, love turns lead
into gold, death into resurrection. Accepting to face our weaknesses and
limitations is accepting to let the stone be rolled back from our tombs.
It is much more difficult then to ignore the death that lies within, but
it also opens us up so that we can hear the call to "come out" and live.
partly what Paul meant when he wrote: "My grace is enough for you: my
power is at its best in weakness."
1 Co 12:9