One does not need to look far to see the brokenness in our world, in our churches and communities, and yes, even in our families and our own lives.  It can be difficult in these days to watch or read the news, to engage in difficult conversations with those with differing perspectives, and to find balance and wholeness in our day-to-day living.  Numerous studies point to the mental health crisis we have on our hands, particularly in light of the isolation of the pandemic.  I would assert that more than just mental health, many are suffering a spiritual health crisis.  In the midst of the storm, there are those who have found that the religious and other institutions and practices which helped in the past no longer serve as a safe harbor.  

Thomas Merton wrote that, “there is in all things…a hidden wholeness.”  If we are to be healed and to become healers in the world today, we must come to an understanding that the shattered surface is not the whole story.  The death of Jesus on the cross, which we will remember on Good Friday, was not the last word.  We will have the opportunity to stand with Mary Magdalene on Easter morning and peer into the empty tomb – and come to the realization that Christ indeed passed through death to life and invites us to do the same.

My mentor and friend, Parker Palmer writes that when we live a divided life – we hide our true identities from each other.  In the Ignatian tradition – it is the reality that we are “loved sinners” called to be companions of Jesus in the world today.   When we live divided lives, “we become separated from our own souls…so far removed from the truth we hold within that we cannot know the ‘integrity that comes from being what you are’.”  If you haven’t read Parker Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness – The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, you may want to add it to your list – Parker tells his own story and shares how we can welcome the soul and weave community in a wounded world.  That sounds like building the Reign of God to me…

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