C. G. Jung has written many things that perhaps would not sit easily with bible believing Christians. However, I have to say that there are one or two things I have read over the years attributed to him that have brought the life and help of God to the deepest places in my humanness.
I have been sharing with you over these last few months something of the journey into the new phase of life that I now find myself in, which is becoming easier for me now to genuinely enjoy and thank God for. Ostensibly it is because of illness that this new phase has happened. However I refuse to give illness the glory. It is God in his goodness that is in charge of all my days – and your days too – and in that I rejoice.
There have been darker moments in this story of readjustment which is now progressing well. I found a little book by Joyce Rupp very helpful. She is from the Catholic tradition. I have found that tradition very helpful in recent times. It is not they have changed my Protestant theology but sometimes Protestant theology is not so good at connecting the truth it has taught us to treasure with the experience of humanness, or at least that has been my experience. At times indeed it can be so self consciously a defender of itself that it can be a bit militant and insensitive to human need, looking at all questioning or doubting as an assault. For that reason, I have found myself seeking refuge and finding life in writers that I would previously not really have bothered looking at. Anyway, in her helpful little book, “Little Pieces of Light: Darkness and Personal growth,” Joyce Rupp quotes C. G. Jung. It is a quote that is now added to the 2 or 3 other helpful quotes from Jung that are stored in my memory from somewhere or other that have been helpful to me personally and in my pastoral ministry over the years: I quote this by kind permission of the publisher, Paulist Press:
“Resurrection occurs only after the tomb encloses a resident. Psychologist C.G. Jung indicates the tomb or cave as the place where “a person goes when there is a great work to be accomplished, an effort from which one recoils.” Renewal whether of the earth or the human heart, contains its own “Holy Saturday” when the darkness smells of death and shows no evidence of movement. Yet, unseen during this period, life stirs, moves, and changes into something surprising.(Page 28).”
I found these words helpful. Our “cave” or “tomb” experiences can mean the beginning of something new, after something or even someone in our life has passed away. I suspect that we all know that, but it is the emphasis that Jung places on the cave experience, or I guess you could say the desert experience, as being where we go “when there is a great work to be done.”
Perhaps like myself, some aspects of ministry are not open to you as they once were. Can you believe that the best may be yet to be in your life? I hope you believe that your contribution to the Kingdom of God and indeed to life in general is really vital, unique and needed. It is important to mourn to acknowledge a sense of loss when we are carrying it, but never forget that ours is a resurrection faith. When you think you will be stuck forever in mourning, remember that. Who knows what good things from a good God are still to come? I am believing that my best days are still to be. It may be a less “public” life, but that suits me fine, in fact it suits me, my inner DNA as it were, really, really well! I think this phase of life is a gift of God’s goodness to me and indeed to Morag. God is good all the time and all the time God is good!
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