Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WOUNDED HEALERS


O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE
In a recent Magnificat reflection, Fr. Vincent Nagle wrote of his work accompanying the sick and dying:

"[I]n those situations very often people would, finally, speak the truth. I do not mean that before peeple were intentionally deceitful. I simply mean that the final things are difficult to face. Of ourselves we have not the courage to do so. Our failures, resentments, humiliations, terrors, sins, and unspoken longings are bigger than we are. The terrible mystery of life itself can seem to threaten us with annihilation."


In Journal of a Solitude, May Sarton writes:

"Gerald Heard's saying 'he must go unprotected that he may be constantly change' always comes to mind when I am speaking of what it is to be a poet and to go on writing poetry beyond the meridian of life."

Later, she quotes from a New Yorker piece by Robert Coles on Erik Erikson re Erikson's work with young , underprivileged boys:

" 'Now and again, however, an individual is called upon (called by whom, only the theologians claim to know, and by what, only bad psychologists) to lift his individual patienthood to the level of a universal one add to try to solve for all what he could not solve for himself alone.' The key word for me, of course, is 'patienthood,' for this is exactly what is involved for the poet or artist of either sex. Coles himself says elsewhere in the piece, 'Not everyone can or will do that--give his specific fears and desires a chance to be of universal significance.' To do this takes a curious combination of humility, excruciating honesty, and (there's the rub) a sense of destiny or of identity. One must believe that private dilemmas are, if deeply examined, universal, and so, if expressed, have a human value beyond the private, and one must also believe in the vehicle for expressing them, in the talent."

Or as someone else said--"Well people don't need a doctor; sick people do" [Mt. 9:12].




7 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful and eloquent photographs at the end - how they add depth and poetry to these words! You have a wonderful eye.

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  2. The unspoken corollary: There are no well people. There are only people unwilling to admit they are sick.

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  3. "There are only people unwilling to admit they are sick."

    Yup.

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  4. this is good, very good.thanks.

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  5. One of my Social Work courses required me to read Henri Nouwen's book Wounded Healer. It took me such a long time to even open the book; each time I sat down to read it the concept of and meaning behind the title alone put me into deep thought, tears, and wonder! Once I finally managed to open the book those ideas were elaborated on. It was a good read. I would recommend it.

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  6. Thanks, Alicia, I'm a big fan of Henri's and have read the book thought perhaps it's time to revisit! I also especially love the one, something about The Beloved, where he becomes...over-attached/dependent upon a friend and is shattered by his own neediness etc. Except then he realizes he is hearing an URGENT invitation from God...

    Thanks and greetings to all who have commented this past week or so. I bought a new laptop and I swear for a variety of reasons (none having particularly to do with my ineptitude I feel called to make clear!) it has taken me two solid days to transfer everything from the old. Plus of course it's Christmas...Daily Mass and Morning and Evening Prayer...so beautiful. More on this tomorrow....

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  7. I will definitely have to read that one; although extremely independent in so many ways, in the past I have certainly found myself overly attached to mentors or friends. I sometimes have to step back to be sure I'm not again at fault. I am sure that book will be a delight! Thank you, Heather.

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