Thought of the Day January 18, 2022 Full self-acceptance

By 10:35 AM

"It is very difficult for each of us to believe in Christ’s words, “I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners. . . .” Perhaps no psychologist has stressed the need of self-acceptance as the way to self-realization so much as Carl Jung. For Jung, self-realization meant the integration of the shadow. It is the growing ability to allow the dark side of our personality to enter into our awareness and thus prevent a one-sided life in which only that which is presentable to the outside world is considered as a real part of ourselves. To come to an inner unity, totality and wholeness, every part of our self should be accepted and integrated. Christ represents the light in us. But Christ was crucified between two murderers and we cannot deny them, and certainly not the murderers who live in us." (Henri Nouwen)

We all have a dark side that we would like to deny. But it is part of our journey. It is that part of our life that Jesus has come to redeem. This dark side are the inner scars we carry. Jesus doesn't remove these scars but heal the effects of them. They remain to remind us of our failure to love as well as to remind us of God's loving mercy. Peter was ashamed that he denied Jesus. Jesus forgave and freed Peter in love. But Peter would proclaim his fault, not hide it, as a way of showing the loving mercy of God.  The same was true with Paul. His dark side was his attempt to destroy The Way. How often after his conversion would Paul acknowledge his fault but especially the mercy of God. Both of them accepted their past as a way of professing the love and mercy of God. Let the light of Christ shine through the darkness.

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