Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, November 3, 2011
I consider myself to be a pretty good judge
of people... that's why I don't like any of them.
Roseanne Barr, comedienne; she was born on
this date, 1952, in Salt Lake City, Utah
When I was in the Order of the Holy Cross, we had a consulting psychiatrist. He was reported by his colleagues to be “one of the best in the World” ….. and crazy as a loon! Though he once told me something interesting: that whenever he had a dream in which he was a participant, he went back into therapy; it was a clear sign that he had lost his “objective distance”. I greatly respected him for one observation he made at our Chapter; he said, “I have never met a group of people who say that they want to live under the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, who are absolutely determined to have everything they want, have sex with anyone, and who, from the newest postulant to the Superior, not to be told what to do by anyone”. He was indeed brilliant, and he had us to a “T” – then; I’m making no assessments about now.
But, the thing I remember the most was his comment, “People come to me for help, and I tell them what to do to get well, and they say they wouldn’t like it; I tell them, “I didn’t say you have to like it, you just have to do it!” (This in his thick Viennese accent.)
We may not “like” a lot of things in Life: people, and the things we have to do for the sake of Love and self-respect and dignity and commitment and faithfulness. Jesus, I’m sure, didn’t like what He went through in order to be faithful to His God of Infinite and Unconditional Love.
But Dr. Holt was right, I think. “Like” is not a category by which to guide our Life. No one likes the suffering that can come from some of the hard choices we have to make, nor the unpleasantness we feel. “Feeling” is a minute dimension of authentic Love. Love is essentially an act of the will.
Spiritual maturity teaches us to do what is just and compassionate, whether we like it or not.