We’ve all been there. We may well have been part of a group that gets infected by this kind of a mood and attacks collectively. Not, of course, that we would ever do anything life trying to throw someone off a cliff. But a little character assassination, a bit of damning with faint praise, a few buckets of cold water thrown on someone’s enthusiasms will work wonders. Because most of us do not have the inner confidence that allowed Jesus to stride through the threatening crowd with authority. We are fairly fragile creatures, especially when it comes to risking a new thought ot an innovative idea. We can so easily demoralised, discouraged, undermined.

Yet, in reality, all that we are ever asked to do is to be open, not closed, to the possibility of change and novelty and risk. It is not required of us that we deny our cautious, even fearful, feelings. They are a necessary framework to weigh up the value of the new information. It is more that we need to put them to one side, and not act them out, to reserve judgement until we have given fair hearing, have really listened to what is new. That also requires of us that we stretch out imaginations somewhat, to visualize not just the worst possible scenario (always easier to do from entrenched territory), but also the best possible one. And it is very rarely anyway that we are challenged to throw away all our dearly held beliefs and practices.

Struggles to Love  The Spirituality of Beatitudes By Kathy Galloway (pages 17 &18)

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