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My Own Incompleteness

Discussion in 'Coffee House' started by Mark Dohle, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Mark Dohle

    Mark Dohle Principalities

    My Own Incompleteness

    Be at peace with your own soul, then heaven and earth will be at peace with you. Eagerly enter into the treasure house that is within you, and so you will see the things that are in heaven; for there is but one single entry to them both. The ladder that leads to the Kingdom is hidden within your soul- Saint Isaac the Syrian

    When I first read the above quote I was put off. However, after looking back on my own life I can see how true it is. When I am not at peace with myself, nothing seems right. I can become easily annoyed, or angry. Yet, I have found that at the bottom of this inner ferment is a deep anxiety that things will fall apart, the center will not hold, that the abyss of oblivion is ready to swallow everything up. Much of this comes about because I choose, to run from my ‘inner self’, afraid of what I may find, or perhaps of the nothingness that is there at intervals as well. Yet when I seek to be at peace with myself, I have to find a way to be with that which causes me pain and to embrace it, not fear it. Not an easy task and for me, not something that I accomplish once and for all. For even if from past experience I have learned that inner harmony can only come with embracing my inner world and to find reconciliation with my own incompleteness, yet, I still may choose to forget that and place myself in a dry barren inner landscape, with no living water anywhere. To find peace with myself I have to be rooted deeply in the living waters, in the depths of grace, and to find peace amidst the storm. The ladder is a good analogy, one rung at a time, and if I slip, to begin again, in peace, hope, and trust. –Br.MD
    jackzokay likes this.
  2. Mario

    Mario Powers


    What a wonderful reflection. Two images come to mind from yours and St. Isaac's use of the word ladder. The first was the scene from Jesus of Nazareth, when Joseph observes Jesus climbing up the ladder outside their home, as if in search for God. The second is the feeling of relief when I've been up on the roof of my home and I step on solid ground after coming down the rungs. But I think it is true that the ladder which leads us down into the depths of God is in each of our hearts. In another thread, I spoke of the difference between praying a Rosary while driving versus praying a Rosary, say, in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the stillness of the church. Or take the Divine Office. The richness of imagery, such as "the face of God," or the beauty of the Psalms can lead us to a quiet repose. I believe to sit attentively in the quiet, waiting upon the Lord, is yet a further rung down, closer to the ocean of Jesus' love. Then, of course, are the times when God seems to act sovereignly and bypasses the ladder entirely! For me, such times are rare indeed!

    But yes, the treasure house is within, where God accepts my incompleteness when I cannot. :)

    Safe on the Father's Lap!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  3. soldier of christ

    soldier of christ Principalities

    I find I have a hard time separating myself from my duties. My duties which I think are given to me by God. Much anxiety arises when I feel I have failed in my duties, as I see it as a failure for God. I long for that inner peace within myself, I can understand why someone would want to become a hermit instead of the call to be a hermit, to live outside the everyday world seems much easier. There is much "fear and pain" as you say "Yet when I seek to be at peace with myself, I have to find a way to be with that which causes me pain and to embrace it, not fear it."
    jackzokay likes this.

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