When I first felt the call to write about my spiritual journey, to share my musings and ponderings with the world, I felt apprehensive. My first drafts were good but guarded.
A friend encouraged me to open up and go deeper, to reveal a little bit more of what the Holy Spirit had placed in my heart. With that vulnerability came great grace. People connected with my story, and through my words, the Holy Spirit worked.
As a writer, this is always a challenging thing to discern… How much do I reveal? How much should I share? But this is not only something writers struggle with, but each of us, especially within social media, have to constantly decide what is ok to share.
As human beings, we have a deep desire for connection, for intimacy. God made us this way. We have the capability to relate deeply to others, but ultimately, this desire calls us to relate intimately with Love Himself.
Like every good and holy desire, our fallen nature makes us see things in a distorted way. We look for fulfillment in the wrong places, and then we hide in shame when we are hurt.
One of the greatest obstacles to loving our neighbor is when we know “too much, yet not enough.” We know enough to imagine and judge their intentions, but given that we are not God, we never fully know. Their hearts are only known to God. All this “extra information” gave us is an excuse to judge and withhold mercy, to apply our own ideas of justice, to justify and excuse our lack of love.
Since we can judge an action by its fruits, we can look back and judge where this “extra information” came from.
Curiosity makes us want to look at what we ought not to, to want to know what is hidden, to want to be like God. – (curiositas). This was the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve. They only knew what was good, but they wanted to also know what was evil.
When we give in to curiosity, we stumble in the dark, hiding, sneaking, wanting to know evil rather than being in the light. This might then bring us to the serious sin of detraction, when we rob others of their dignity by revealing something that was not ours to reveal.
We have two kinds of wounds… the ones that have been touched by Christ and the ones that are still waiting to be transformed. One kind is ok to show the world; the other one needs to be protected with boundaries until it is healed by God.
Opposites pulling, a tug of war between choosing to cover or to reveal. Shame tells us to hide; guilt wants us to show. We show our wounds to God. We let Him reveal His glory in us. Wounds that have been transformed, when shown, bring about hope.
And when friends or strangers reveal their woundedness to us… those wounds that are still bleeding, still hurting, still vulnerable… we must recognize this is holy ground we have been called to accompany them on.
We can’t absolve, but we can listen… and then hold… because these wounds were revealed to Christ in us.
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.