Summary: Brief exploration of seeking after who you were created to be.
I originally read this just over a year ago. James Martin originally put this together as a lecture to honor Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen.
On the second reading, Martin’s insights are still as hard to internalize, but as still important.
God has created each of us as unique individuals. Working toward becoming the self that God created is a lifetime process. And at least part of that process is rejecting the roles that are placed upon you but not a part of you.
The second reading I was struck by how we become who we are, not by focusing on our own selves, but by serving others. This was the theme of a sermon at my church recently so the focus here resonated more.
I mentioned this in the earlier review, but part of what is helpful about this book is that it is focused on people that many consider spiritual giants. Merton, Nouwen, Mother Theresa all were human. They were all broken people that struggled into their spiritual lives.
As I have reflected on ‘becoming my true self’ by reading a number of books this year, the common thread through all of them is struggle. For previous generations I think that concept was not less difficult, but I think it was less foreign. Our world considers struggle to be avoided. Pain is bad.
But over and over again in spiritual writings, authors say pain for pain’s own sake is worthless. But no growth occurs without struggle and pain. It doesn’t make it easier to embrace the pain and messiness of life, but at least it should make it easier to know that the path is well worn in front of us.