Stay in your own incarnation!
This means we take full responsibility for our feelings and for everything else that happens to us. We realize the futility of trying to control and manipulate the world of people and situations to fit our disordered desires and cravings.
And we refrain from blaming people and situations for our unfulfilled expectations. Rather, we thank God for everything that happens to us, the things we judge as wanted and the ones we judge as undesirable, trusting in faith “…that all things work for good for those who love God”. (Rom.8:28)
The spiritual person, seeks internal power and creates happiness and security by looking inward to identify the causes of unhappiness and insecurity and heal them. We can never be free or at peace until we learn to identify our disordered desires and heal their root causes.
Recognizing the various life situations that disturb and trigger us to feel upset, fearful, worried, anxious, resentful, uptight, angry, bored, etc. help identify what attachments and disordered desires we need to work on.
Using every uncomfortable emotion as an opportunity for spiritual growth, we examine the triggers underlying the emotions to understand and heal the desires and attachments that are disordered and incompatible with the love of God and neighbor.
The healing of our disordered desires comprise the active dark nights of sense and spirit. They involve our own efforts of self-denial, detachment, prayer, and growth in virtue supported by God’s grace. All the things we outwardly or secretly love and desire, which prevent us from setting our hearts completely on God, need to be put to rest, as if entering a dark night where they no longer hinder the soul from advancing towards the love of God and neighbor.
What you love is what you will become as Jesus confirms, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21). So along with the imperfections of the lower faculties of sense, the spiritual faculties of the understanding, memory and will must also be healed.
Father Garrigou LaGrange explains, “The stains of the old man still remain in their spirit like rust that will disappear only under the action of a purifying fire”.
(to be continued)
Copyright 2018, Erin Foord, ocds
AAbout the author: Erin Foord has been a Secular Discalced Carmelite for 40 years. He served as President of the California-Arizona Provincial Council from 2014-2017. He gave this conference as part of the Ongoing Formation class for the Santa Clara , CA OCDS community.