This is a book that I am slowly reading in the mornings by Richard Rohr.
And this morning as I was reading the chapter on "A Contemplative Stance" it stopped me in my tracks and I had to sit with it in prayer and then write in my journal and now reflect a bit here.
He writes about the demon of fear that is "well hidden, denied and disguised." And how fear is behind our mean spirited ness, unkindness and hate. "Fear unites the disparate parts of your own false self very quickly. Remember the ego moves forward by contraction, self protection and refusal......the soul however, does not proceed by contraction but by expansion."
"When YES is asked of us, it will usually be resisted by an attack of anxiety, excuse, rationalization, or question. We must learn how to recognize our own patterns..."
He writes about the shadow work that we all need to do of pulling the demon out of its hiding places, naming it and looking at it nondefensively.
That is where I get messed up - I can see the demons at times and feel shamed by them and overwhelmed and allow them to go back into their hiding places. it is being able to look at myself consciously and non defensively that allows real peace and freedom within me.
I am not preaching this week but already looking ahead to next week when I preach about the "voice crying in the wilderness" And I feel like that voice is saying to me (us) don't be afraid - don't allow your fears to bind you and separate you.
So, for some reason this whole idea seems like Advent preparation to me. This is how we slowly prepare for the coming of the Lord - releasing the fears so that our souls can expand and we can receive and live in the joy.
The hope is the joy to come as we continue on this journey of spiritual growth.
Joy Joy Joy