Allowing Our Anxieties to Teach Us

What must be sacrificed, and it will fee like a sacrifice, is the attachement and the strange satisfaction that problem-solving gives us. Don’t you feel good when you’ve solved problems at the end of the day? We say to ourselves, “I’m an effective, productive, efficient human being. I’ve earned my right to existence today because I’ve solved ten problems.” I do want us to solve problems; certainly there are plenty out there to solve. But not too quickly. We mustn’t lead with our judgments and fears. We shouldn’t lead with our need to fix and solve problems. This is the agenda-filled calculating mind that cannot see things through God’s eyes. We must not get rid of the anxiety until we have learned what it wants to teach us.

— Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs

If you’re like me, an 8 on the enneagram, these words are difficult to swallow.

Enneagram

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The Theology of the Devil

“No longer is there any sense that we might perhaps all be more or less at fault, and that we might be expected to take upon our own shoulders the wrongs of others by forgiveness, acceptance, patient understanding and love, and thus help one another to find the truth. On the contrary, in the devil’s theology, the important thing is to be absolutely right and to prove that everybody else is absolutely wrong. This does not exactly make for peace and unity among men, because it means that everyone wants to be absolutely right himself or to attach himself to another who is absolutely right. And in order to prove their rightness they have to punish and eliminate those who are wrong.”

— Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation