Tiber river from Castel Sant'Angelo

I Was Blind but Now I See

Deborah Stollery

     Ever been lost?  Ever switched lanes, heard that horn blast and said to no one in particular, “they were in my blind spot?”  Ever had someone tell you something about yourself and you were flabbergasted?  If so, then you’ve experienced different kinds of blindness.  There’s Good News though!  Jesus declares that one part of his mission is to give sight to the blind.  How so?  Read on.

     One of the challenges of life is to figure out where you are going and why.  This personal unknown is like blindness.  You can’t see any guideposts or signs.  You can’t ask for direction because you don’t know where you are trying to go.  Companions come and go, veering off on other pathways while you wander.  Jesus is the Light of the world.  He came that we might have life and have it abundantly.  He shows us the Way.  That’s Good News!

Tiber River from Ponte Sante'Angelo

     But there’s more Good News.  Jesus also formed a special group of people who live in the Light, who know the Way, and who are committed to helping others do the same.  That group?  The Church.

     Both of those points are true according to the Sacred Word and the Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.  What is also true is that both individual disciples and the Church are human, seeking to be more divine, and so are prone to losing sight again…to blind spots, to choosing darkness over Light, to what the Church calls sin.  When this happens, the Holy Spirit’s gift of courage is needed:  courage to try, courage to trust and courage to tell the truth.

     When blindness sets in, ecclesial leaders need to have the courage to re-claim Jesus’ vision.  They need to be able to articulate that vision for their people, here and now, and to show them how that vision will come to fruition.  In this way, they lead their people out of darkness and into Jesus’ Light.

     When blindness sets in, ecclesial leaders need to know how to reduce the stress that always comes when the darkness is overcoming both individuals and dioceses/parishes.  Jesus knew how to do this:  alone, attentive, prayerful.  Jesus practiced what today is called mindfulness, reduced his personal stress and thus was able to return to his followers, courageous, vision-centered and committed.

     When blindness sets in, ecclesial leaders need to look toward the light already shining from those who have gone before us.  They need memory, anamnesis…to bring the events of the past to the present so that today there is light and that light shines into tomorrow.

     Want to develop those skills:  vision-casting, mindfulness and memory?  We can help.  Contact us.  The Church needs the Light of Christ…coming from you!  Please don’t wait!

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