Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Jesus, Christians, intimacy, and you - 5.

My last post represents a decision to publish my notes from this retreat by Fr. "Red" Eugene O'Reilly, C.Ss.R. to our English priests. My third post in this series was mostly a long digression from our priests' retreat, in which I looked at our human sexual faculties as a gift from God, one which is very powerful and calls for constant purification of our motives.

We ended noting that friendship is the best context within which married couples can manage their sexuality and the rest of us can harness our sexual energy. Our most basic challenge in life is to become more honest, better, kinder, and gentler human beings, and friends help each other take steps in that direction. I experience intimacy as I come to trust another enough to allow the other to see into me. Not only is it possible for both married and single to live life fully and be chaste, but chastity actually allows us to enter into much more intimate relationships, with much more honest and transparent motivations.

In our relationship with Jesus as Lord, the centurion shows us that another element of intimacy is being willing to allow the other to see what our situation is, to admit to the other our weakness, vulnerability, or helplessness. Once the centurion allowed Jesus to see his helplessness to do anything more to help his sick servant, and showed his willingness to let Jesus have the last word, then Jesus was able to do something for him and his servant. Because God is of course stronger, wiser, and has more time, it makes perfect sense for us to allow God to have the last word, which requires letting go of our opinions, demands, and expectations.

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