Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Braxton's Lear - Emotional mouth-breathing

It isn't only the Episcopal Church which has opted for emotional wallowing as the ideal method of expressing itself. This article, by a Catholic priest, could give Purple Haze a run for her money any day. It's hard to tell where the quote from Nouwen leaves off and Rolheiser begins, though to be fair, Nouwen at least confined his emotional breakdowns to his private correspondence. Rolheiser can't wait to tell us all about his visceral needs and wants, until you want to tell him to just get a room somewhere.

Everyone has those times when they think "Is this all there is? I don't WANT to be married/single/a mother/a father etc. etc. YOUR GRIPE HERE." I don't consider THAT a "dark night of the soul", but I can see why Rolheiser does. It's a way of saying "I need/I want/I'm not fulfilled, therefore I'm just the same as St. John of the Cross!" I guess the frisson from this article is supposed to come from the fact that it's a priest writing, not a 12-year old girl. Blubbering because there's nobody to tell him he's pretty is not worthy of any man, let alone one who assumes the title of "Father".

The article ends with a flourish that would make Purple Haze herself sick with envy:
But to come to this, we have to learn a new way of breathing emotionally. The excruciating pain we feel sometimes when precisely we want nothing more in the world than a physical and emotional touch that we can't have is, in essence, a weaning, the pain of the child who has to cry herself to sleep because her mother will no longer nurse her, but is forcing her instead to learn a new way of taking in sustenance.

Our prayers don't seem to be heard because God, like a good mother, knows that giving a certain emotional breast back to the child only delays the inevitable. Maturity lies in learning how to breathe emotionally in a new way.

An artist. I'm sure there isn't a dry...eye in the house.

(thanks to Catholic World News



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