Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, August 11, 2011
Either you deal with what is the reality,
or you can be sure that the reality is
going to deal with you.
Alex Haley, author [“Roots”]; he was born on
this date, 1921, in Ithaca NY
Almost every great spiritual teacher will tell you that fantasy, denial, self-unawareness is one of the surest paths to misery. I agree.
Since the time I left Canada in the late summer of 1967 to come to Holy Cross Monastery to “try” my vocation as a monastic, I have identified that as a “guidance of the spirit” in leading me towards wholeness and health and strength. And I am grateful. It was successful. Holy Cross gave me a life centered in a beautiful God Who loved everyone, and a diverse community of almost all Gay men who mentored me, intentionally or not. (Some were closeted.)
Here I was: this fat 21 year old. Who knew that he was sexually and emotionally attracted to men when he was eight years old. Who knew intuitively that he was called to be a priest from an even earlier age. How the hell does this stuff happen to a kid living in Verdun Quebec in the 50’s??? Now I know how it happens: There is a Great and mysterious Spirit of the Universe that seeks to guide each of us to the full Life we are destined for. My greatest disappointment is how almost every culture I have been a part of seeks to quash that destiny. When I try to think of how that can be changed, I sigh in sadness. Living in America today makes it exponentially more difficult.
Alex Haley is right. Reality will out. Like it or not. Reality can’t be suppressed. It eventually will sneak up on you and demand recognition - and the more you ignore it, the more hell you will go through.
Jesus was a Master at calling people to Reality. (The Israelite prophets were too.) The Israelites on their interpretation of “The Law”. Individuals on their loony concepts of Truth. His disciples especially on their self-delusions ….. including those of us who follow millennia later.
There is no way to become whole without dealing with Reality. We have to be ruthless at it. God bless AA for the way that they demand it of each other! Would that the Church were as fearless!
Reality is one of our best friends. Hold it close.