The Contemplative Companion for Friday, May 26, 2017

…You will grieve, but your grief will become joy. – John 16.20

On our journey of spiritual development and transformation into Christ, there are periods of time that seem unbearable. The unbearableness comes in part because we see ourselves more clearly, and what we see isn’t easy to see. In part, because we see our falseness and our inner fragmentation.

We see how our personality acts out from its immaturity or woundedness – almost without knowing why or that it is occurring. We may not actually see this pattern until after the fact, when the “damage” has been done.

This kind of honest seeing of our way and level of being can bring us to grieve. We experience compunction of spirit. And we may wish to get it all over with and just be freed from that way of being. But the grief is a part of the birthing process. And it should not be rushed through. It is to be endured gratefully, light-fully.

I have come to know in my own life that my subtle resistance to seeing and acknowledging my need for help in aspects of my inner fragmentation and multiplicity is a big part of where the grief comes from. It’s as if I prefer to complain or feel sorry for myself for seeing what I see, but then I just stay in the grief without asking for help to work on it or change my way of being.

Joy comes from acknowledging and making specific efforts to make the personality passive so that Realness and Essence can grow.

I take comfort in the truth that tthe cycles between grief and joy recur many times in our life – but their intensity and frequency smooths out and they grow less and less – until the love, joy and peace of Christ reign completely in our heart.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved.


  1. This is so right on!! I both grieve & also get angry (frustrated) with myself as I catch myself repeating personality patterns. I have noticed how I am grateful for the awareness but can then get stuck. Sometimes I resist asking for help – I’m enjoying the wallowing, sometimes I just forget to ask but when I do ask everything shifts. Thanks for describing this so well for me!!


  2. Good description of why the death process of our old egocentric self is not easy on our Christian contemplative spiritual journey. Fortunately, God’s Spirit of Love, Light(Truth), Life is always present with-in us if we continue to be faithfully and spiritually aware in our daily life with others. I’ve recently begun reading Richard Rohr’s “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” which offers ” the Enneagram as a very ancient Christian tool for the discernment of spirits, the struggle with our capital sin our ‘false self’, and the encounter with our ‘True Self in God’.”


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