If you keep listening to the love, if you keep receiving the love, trusting the love—even with all your limitations, unworthiness, limited intellect, or whatever you feel holds you back—you start to experience within yourself a sense of possibility. Whatever life is inviting you into, you have this sense that it’s okay and, even better, that you can do it! That is the joy of the saints. Now you don’t have to do it by the world’s criteria of success or performance. As Mother Teresa loved to say, “The only real success is faithfulness.” To be faithful to this inner love is in itself the greatest success. It is of itself the possibility. No outer successes are necessary to be happy.
This is what makes the mystics sort of dangerous. It’s not just possibility they experience—but permission. It’s permission to color outside the lines and to be who you really are. It’s not just gay people who have to come out of their closets. We’re all in our closets. They’ve just given us a good metaphor for what we all have to do. We’re all afraid to come out of our various closets. It’s not the need to be outrageous or rebellious. It’s so much better than that. It’s just permission to be that image and likeness of God that you really are. You are unlike any other image or likeness. It is as if God is saying, “I’m expecting you to return to me simply and totally as you really are!”"
"The capitalist worldview is the only one most of us have ever known. We see reality, experiences, events, other people, and things—in fact, everything—as objects for our personal consumption. Even religion, Scripture, sacraments, worship services, and meritorious deeds become ways to advance ourselves—not necessarily ways to love God or neighbor.
The nature of the capitalist mind is that things (and often people!) are there for me. Finally, even God becomes an object for my consumption. Religion looks good on my resume, and anything deemed “spiritual” is a check on my private worthiness list. Some call it spiritual consumerism. It is not the Gospel.”"
Struggling with one’s own shadow self, facing interior conflicts and moral failures, undergoing rejections and abandonment, daily humiliations, experiencing any kind of abuse or your own clear limitations, even accepting that some people hate you: All of these are gateways into deeper consciousness and the flowering of the soul. These experiences give us a privileged window into the naked now, because impossible contradictions are staring us in the face. Much-needed healing, forgiving what is, weeping over and accepting one’s interior poverty and contradictions are normally necessary to invite a person into the contemplative mind.
In facing the contradictions that we ourselves are, we become living icons of both/and. Once we can accept mercy, it is almost natural to hand it on to others. You become a conduit of what you yourself have received."