Richard Rohr: How We Carry Our Wounds

Pelican bleeding to feed her young, Sculpture, Musee des Beaux Arts, Angers

“Without a mythological context, sacred text, or some symbolic universe to reveal the greater meaning and significance of our life, we can become trapped in our own very small story. And in that limited story, without any larger perspective, our wounds can make us into embittered victims. We just keep repeating the story line to ourselves over and over, and soon it suffocates us like a python.

The Jesus way is to embrace our wounds and accept them as the price of the journey. We can choose to carry our wounds with dignity until the time comes when we forget why they were so important or debilitating to begin with. The wounds in Jesus’ hands, feet and side are still carried in his resurrected body—this is quite significant! (John 20:25-28) I think we carry our wounds until the end; they do not fully go away but keep us humble, patient and more open to trust and intimacy. The healing lies in the fact that those same wounds no longer defeat us or cause us to harm ourselves or others. My favorite mystic, Lady Julian of Norwich, puts it this way, “our wounds become our honors.” —Richard Rohr, ofm

Adapted from On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men, p. 135

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