Appleton, WI

Oct 24: Day by Day with Father Bill


From Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI:
[According to James Hillman,] the best wines have to be aged in cracked, old barrels. And so too the human soul, it mellows, takes on character, and comes to compassion only when there are real cracks, painful ones, in the body and life of the one who carries it. Our successes, he says, bring us glory, while our pain brings us character and compassion. Pain, and sometimes only pain, serves to mellow the soul…what we need when we are in a dark night isn’t the well-intentioned sympathy of a friend who wants to rescue us from the pain, but the wisdom of the mystics who tell us: When you lose you securities, when you find yourself in an emotional and spiritual free-fall, when you are in the belly of the whale, let go, detach yourself, let the pain carry you to where it needs to take you, don’t resist, rather weep, wail, cry, and put your mouth to the dust, and wait. Just wait. You are like a baby being weaned from its mother’s breast and forced to learn a new way of nourishing yourself. Anything you do to stop what’s happening will only delay the inevitable, the pain that must be gone through in order to come to a new maturity. Care rather than cure. Organize your life to support the process. You are incubating your soul, not living a heroic adventure. Arrange your life accordingly. Tone it down. Get what comforts you can, but don’t move against the process. Concentrate, reflect, think, and talk about your situation seriously with trusted friends. [Thomas More, Dark Nights of the Soul]
Father Bill +