Summer is finally here. I have three months off until school with J starts up in September. I am thrilled to have a nice long stretch of weeks away from history, geography, science and the like. It will be a full summer, but a welcome change of pace.
One of my lingering spring projects is to sign off on our study of this book The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner. I’ve lost most of you in recent weeks, which I feared would happen because this is a difficult book to get your mind around. Of course, it might not have been the book – we’ve had a baby born, a new ring on a finger, libraries and gardens and the like, job changes, new cities – we’re not without our share of activity. So let me sign off on this book, and perhaps we’ll start up again in September. Vamos a ver.
In signing off, let me share a few key quotes and some thoughts.
All italics are quotes from the book.
Chapter Four – Knowing Yourself As You Really Are
Thomas Merton warns, “There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with reality.” The truly spiritual life is not an escape from reality but a total commitment to it….Most of us are quite willing to embrace reality when it fits with how we see ourselves and the world, and when it is not overly unpleasant…..( But ) The human capacity for self-deception is astounding.
Remember always that you are not simply a sinner, you are deeply loved sinner. And there is all the difference in the world between the two.
Benner encourages us to get behind sins to the sin, and I will say from experience, that this is a valuable exercise. Your sin patterns are particular to you, they are as unique and textured as you are. I have found my readings on the Enneagram to be an amazingly powerful tool in finding my patterns and receiving the challenges within them. When I fall off the path, it’s almost always in the same way. Walking toward my shadow side and understanding it, has helped me tremendously.
Chapter Five – Unmasking Your False Self
Every moment of every day of our life God wanders in our inner garden, seeking our companionship. The reason God can’t find us is that we are hiding in the bushes of our false self. God’s call to us is gentle and persistent: “Where are you? Why are you hiding?”
This is one of the key reasons I ever initiated contact with you all. I know as women we have a tendency to hide, to draw back into the bushes, to stay quiet. Know that God is looking for you, it’s okay to come out of hiding. You are His Beloved.
Chapter Six – Becoming Your True Self
God sometimes calls people to a cause not born of their own abilities or must superficial desires. But his call is always absolutely congruent with our destiny, our truest self, our identity and the shape of our being…..We are all called to live the truth of our uniqueness. Divine creativity has never involved a production assembly line. The results of God’s creative acts are never less than original and truly unique works of art. You and I are no exception.
It’s true. You are gifted with unique talents and they are desperately needed in the Kingdom. Wake up. Take a look around you. See the spiritual world swirling in the conversations, places and projects of your day. Know that you are called upon to pour into your world what you have been given. Don’t miss it.
Okay chicas. I’m signing off for the summer. I might write here or there, we’ll see. If you need me, email me and I will respond. Send updates when you can because they shape my prayers over you.
And be thinking about September, shall we continue or not?