Posted by: Su | March 4, 2012

Sanctuary Lent Blog post 3

Hi All,

Here’s a bit from God of Surprises by Gerard W. Hughes that I have found helpful recently

Face the fears that haunt you

In Jungian language, ‘Face your shadow.’ Fear, like guilt, is a healthy human reaction to danger which is threatening. If we refuse to face the fear, the fear may become a ruthless tyrant pervading and poisoning every aspect of our lives. Once faced, the fears often turn out to be illusory, a truth vividly illustrated in a dream which someone shared with me while I was giving him the Spiritual Exercises. I shall call the dreamer ‘Tom’.

It began as a nightmare. Tom was in a dark jungle, alone and unarmed, but there were threatening figures lurking in the shadows. He knew that the locality was called ‘Recife’, although at the time of the dream he had no idea where ‘Recife’, was. As he could not defend himself, he decided to try and befriend the threatening figures, some of whom vanished, while others proved friendly and protected him fro the rest of his journey. Later, reflecting on the dream, he saw the pun on the word ‘Recife’, which was saying to him, ‘”Receive” those things in your life of which you are afraid and befriend them.’ He began to look at some of the fears in his life and discovered that some vanished, while others turned out to be sources of strength. One of the most constant refrains in the Old Testament and in the New is ‘Do not be afraid’. God, in Christ, has overcome all the powers of evil and destruction. God is the God of surprises who can turn even the evil we have done, and the evil done to us, into the very means of our salvation. The Church at Easter sings a beautiful poem which begins with the Latin word ‘Exsultet’, meaning ‘Rejoice’, and includes the phrase, ‘O felix culpa’, meaning ‘O happy fault’, and goes on to give the reason, ‘O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer’.

A very good way of facing our fears is to reveal them to someone we can trust who will listen and will accept us as we are. Having put the fear into words and given it a name, it no longer has such power over us…

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  1. I think this is a powerful process to go through. I am aware through having a mother with bi-polar how powerful living in fear can be, it takes over your life, it effects the ones you love and potentially you hand on your fears to your children!.

  2. me too, fear creeps up and hangs around. then I feel afraid because I feel that fear thing – so there must be somethings scary going on, it’s a hard thing to shift

    I hate it when I find I’ve let myself become afraid of another person, but the worst is thinking there’s someone else in the house – my flats so creeky!, that one freezes me

  3. Good post, Subo. I hate it when someone says, “Can you come and see me when you have a minute, I need to talk to you about something.” Especially if they say it in those hushed tones. Scares the hell out of me. Why it always has to be ‘when you have a minute’ and not now, I don’t know. The waiting just makes it worse.

    I’m also hitting that funny age now, when I am constantly fearing ill health. Every little tweak or ache is potential terminal cancer.

    I love hearing the Exultet being sung at the Easter vigil, after we have brought the lit candles into the dark church. After the dryness of Lent and the darkness of Good Friday, it feels like cool water in a desert. My spirit understands it in a way that my mind has trouble articulating.

  4. spot the power freaks Carole, with their ‘I need to talk to you…’, I got so fed up of one at my workplace I refused to see her in a rm without a 3rd person. she was out for bl so I went and asked the manager 4 help – then she ranted at me in front of the manager, fortunately for me, the M didn’t take sides.

    but yep, Easter resonates with my experience of life. it’s great being alowed to celebrate. Tim just got a copy of Galactica’s new album, they do celebration big.

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