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Why Are You So Afraid? (Matthew 8:26)

Another question that I pose to myself casts light upon my present experience and probes the depths of my psyche.

In some ways, I’m prepared to make my transition, but it does not happen: life still burgeons my desire to live; especially following short walks, outdoors, with my caregiver. Only today did I touch the red stamen of a yellow magnolia blossom growing in a neighbor’s yard, then gloried in Creator God. Never have I seen such coloration.

But the despoliation of our global world also terrifies me. To this, a friend always responds, ”God knows what he’s doing!” followed by the imperative to trust.

Yet, fears can suck my resolve and warp mental functioning like pesky mosquitoes feasting on road-kill. Such intrusions feel like another has usurped my power, cut moorings to the familiar, and relegated me to the ash pit, mangy with week-old garbage.

Happily, I’ve learned the way out: practicing Steps Six and Seven of Chronic Pain Anonymous in the presence of Jesus of Nazareth: mustering readiness for the removal of fears and humbly asking that such occur. Occasionally, I telephone for help if the fears persist.  

This works, like nothing else that I’ve tried, but I still have to keep practicing; its result, on-going spiritual cleansing, essential for living eternally.

At 8 A.M., I was jolted awake by this dream:

It is night. I am alone, my present age, but not ill. Many years have passed since last visiting the Jesuits’ College Church, located on their campus at St. Louis University. The Gothic-like church is ablaze with light from overhanging bronze fixtures. What puzzles me is the large number of virile Jesuits, all wearing black clergy shirts with white collars, belly laughing, guffawing, and slapping each other on their backs. Something is very funny. No one notices me as I meander among the rooms, many of which are being renovated and enlarged; sawdust, everywhere. Then, I notice a small boy, unwashed, still in soiled pajamas wandering around the corridor. I’m overwhelmed.

This glimpse into my psyche disconcerts me. The image of the Jesuits’ College Church speaks of my thirty years involvement in that venue, until my departure in May 2007 due to a significant dream. By that time, my earlier idealization of the Jesuits had dissipated, but the dream suggests their continuing influence in my psyche: the patriarchal muffling of deep stirrings toward the Sacred Feminine.

The renovated and enlarged rooms of the churchsuggest an inflation in my psyche, swollen by pride and masquerading as control over my terminal illness. Lest I lose ground, slavish adherence to my ADLs, especially exercise, is critical.  

The unseemly behavior of the very young Jesuits suggests purposeless distractions, to which I can succumb whenever shadowed by the noxious specter that wants my body dead. And like those very young Jesuits, I dress up for each twenty-four hours as if still participating in the land of the living.

The small boy suggests the neglected Divine Child Archetype in my psyche, unattended, ignored. No wonder that I’m overwhelmed.

Ultimately, the dream lays bare my denial toward what is advancing toward me. All the more to cling to the practice of CPA’s 12 Steps and pray, ”Mercy!”

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