by Sister Elise Cholewinski
“There is something I once did in the past, and I feel very guilty about it. I’ve never told anybody what I did; maybe sometime I will.” Has anyone ever said that to you? Afraid and inwardly tormented by the guilt, the person eventually might come forth with the whole story. The person might then feel a sense of relief and freedom, having shared the story with someone else. You might feel honored that the person trusted you to that degree.
“What do you have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” The man in the synagogue, troubled by an unclean spirit, recognized Jesus as the Holy One of God. Why would Jesus want to have anything to do with him? Yet Jesus commands the unclean spirit to leave the man, and the spirit departs. The crowd was amazed; how much more amazed the man must have been, knowing that Jesus was not repulsed by his being unclean, but saw his inherent goodness and desired that he be at peace.
Sometimes the best way we can help people is to enable them to honestly confront the demons that roam around inside of them. All it takes is listening. In the end, we go away amazed. We have honored their story; they have honored us with their trust.
Thanks for your beautiful reflection, Sister! It was great to see all of you folks over the Christmas/New Years break.. Hopefully, we'll see you this Summer..
Peace & blessings - Fr. Bill
I love the part about "honoring someone's story": to me this implies a non-judgmental approach to another's experience that may be outside our comfort zone. So important to try and do these days, thanks for the reminder Sister!
He saw his inherent goodness and wanted him to be at peace.
Listening and trust, thanks for helping us apply this to our everyday lives.
I find myself 'touched' and 'amazed' in listening to children through a Volunteer Reading Program, 'Reading Coaches,' via the Brown Cty. Volunteer Center. In their innocence, their demons are not guilt, but they can be shame and feelings of inferiority and insecurities that come with lowered self-esteem - for many reasons. The children are precious to me. Their 'tellings' are like slivers of gold and fine jewels. I, too, am blessed by their offerings. And yes, it is all God's Beautiful Work, within the Body, that is All-Christ.