Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Sacred Illness

"A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way." -Deena Metzger

So, my prayer life got re-ignited this week, because I bottomed out. I found myself in bed the other night, crying and telling Gregg how much I miss Katie; that she has broken my heart open, and I don't know what to do with what I have learned from her & her experience, her "sacred illness."

I've said this before: my job has changed DRAMATICALLY; Gregg still does the same job. His PERSONAL life has changed dramatically, for sure; but my ENTIRE LIFE has changed. I know that I am Karen; also Gregg's wife and David & Katie's mother, but --other than the obvious (such as loving, mothering, organizing, cooking, cleaning, homemaking)-- I wonder what I am to do with all that I have been given, and with what has gone away? This makes me feel really lost on some days.

Once again, Father Rohr has written much that sheds light on the here and now:

"The ego wants to ensure that things are significant, that events make us important. Our activities become little righteousness trips, and we stand on our certitude.
"'I've done "this much" in my life,' we say. 'I was faithful to my husband. I raised my children; I sent them to a Catholic school. I paid my bills.' But these are often self-serving kinds of duty and responsibililty. Much religion is using God to bolster our own self-image. True religion is not attached to self-image, but to God.
"Christian life has little to do with me doing anything right. It has everything to do with falling in love with a Lover who does everything right."

"We are at the same time very good and very sinful. These qualities do not cancel each other out. Faith is to live and hold onto that paradox."

"Like our native peoples here in New Mexico, [John the Baptist] goes on his vision quest into the desert where he faces his aloneness, boredom and naked self. He returns with a message, a clarity, a surety of heart that reveals a totally surrendered man...John the Baptist seems to tell us that [the desert] is the only place bare enough, empty enough to mirror our own motives and disguises." -Radical Grace, pgs. 23-25

"The reason we have trouble with the full incarnation in Jesus is probably that we have not been able to recognize or admire our own limited incarnation. We also have a capacity for the divine.

"Theological doctrine we can deal with, but ourselves we cannot. It is comparatively easy to admit to a historical divine/human integration or personification, but it is apparently difficult to accept that same integration or personification within our own remembered and regretted lives. But this little self on its insignificant journey is very likely a microcosm of what God is doing everywhere and what God did perfectly in Jesus. If we are to believe the whole, we must start by trying to believe the part. If we are to love God’s beginning and God’s conclusion —Jesus— then we must try to love God’s process— ourselves. He is Alpha and Omega, but we are beta, gamma, and delta. It is all one. Truth is one. And we have been made one by God’s yes to flesh in Christ." - from Near Occasions of God p 6

So today, I will keep the questions in my heart, as openly as possible, and try to trust that what I am in this moment is GOOD, and good enough.

God, please lead me and guide me to what your love has for me, this moment, today. Amen.


Karla W. said...

Sending you a big hug Karen.

The Engine of the Family said...

Hi Karen,
I hope you and your family have a very blessed holiday and I hope so much that you find peace in your heart and know Katie is looking down on you :)

amanda said...


Contemplative Photographer said...

Thank you so much for this post. It definitely resonates with where I've been lately...

Sherry said...

- 'I wonder what I am to do with all that I have been given, and with what has gone away? This makes me feel really lost on some days.'-

I, along with my 20 yr old son and 18 (in two days) daughter, have had some kind of Chronic Fatigue for four years, and when a new year starts and things haven't changed...well, I've been feeling this way the last few days(even though my loss can't compare,)but I couldn't put it into words. The quotes are full of encouragement. I intend to print them out.

I'm sorry for your suffering and am praying for you as I write this. God bless you.

Joao said...

Hi Karen!

I'm a portuguese young man studying pharmacy. I'm 21 years old.
I just want to thank you for writting this words.
I'm going through a difficult moment right now and I have found some comfort in your words.