Those at the edge of any system and those excluded from any system, ironically and invariably hold the secret for the conversion and wholeness of that very group. They always hold the feared, rejected, and denied parts of the group’s soul. You see, therefore, why the church was meant to be that group that constantly went to the edges, to the “least of the brothers and sisters,” and even to the enemy. Jesus was not just a theological genius, but he was also a psychological and sociological genius. When any church defines itself by exclusion, it is always wrong. It is avoiding its only vocation, which is to be the Christ.
Only as the People of God receive the stranger, the sinner, and the immigrant, those who don’t play our game our way, do we discover not only the hidden, feared, and hated parts of our own souls, but the fullness of Jesus himself. We need them for our own conversion.
The Church is always converted when the outcasts are re-invited back into the temple. You see this in Jesus’ commonly sending marginalized people that he has healed, back into the village, back to their family, or back to the temple to “show themselves to the priests.” It is not just for their re-inclusion and acceptance, but actually for the group itself to be renewed.Richard Rohr
Only by loving our shadow are we made whole. Those parts that we reject in others? And the parts that we reject in others because we reject them in ourselves? Those are the shadow.
Without embracing our shadow, we cannot be whole. Even Peter Pan knew that.
And no more us and them. Because those we call them...they are us.
Pretty simple, really. On this St. Patrick's Day, consider loving the orange as well as the green.
Happy Love Thursday.