Ron Rolheiser, OMI wrote an article in 2011 titled “The Internal Battle For Our Souls”, and which he sent out to all who subscribe to receiving his twice weekly meditations.  Ron wrote:  “We live with both light and darkness side us and for long periods of time, it seems, contraries do co-exist inside us.  Our souls are a battleground where selflessness and selfishness, virtue and sin, vie for dominance. But eventually one or the other will begin to dominate and work at weeding out the other. […] We need to pray regularly. Contraries cannot co-exist in us so if we sustain genuine prayer in our lives eventually sincerity will weed out insincerity, selflessness will weed out selfishness, and grace will weed out sin. If we sustain genuine prayer we will never, long-term, fall into moral rationalization. If we sustain genuine prayer in our lives we will never grow so blind to our own sin that we will begin to have morally exempt areas in our lives. Being faithful to prayer will ensure that we will never, long-range, live double lives because what prayer brings into our lives, a genuine presence of God, will not peacefully co-exist with selfishness, sin, rationalization, self-delusion, and hypocrisy.

This past week my soul has been doing battle, even longer than this past week.  A friend, a dear friend, who I look up to and respect has been experiencing struggles in her own life that is being lived out in a way that I do not believe is life-giving for my friend or for those around her, including me.  I do not know what is at the root of my friend’s struggle – only that it is there.  Perhaps if I did not love this person I could walk away from her and her behaviour – but that is not the case.  And as much as it would be easier to walk neither of us would grow in any way – it would be life taking for both of us.  I actually believe that if I was just ignore what is happening eventually our friendship will become lessened and may not survive.

So I have chosen to speak out, to say what I think in the gentlest way possible, in the midst of others who like me care while being true to the dignity and beauty in each of us.  It is not a popular decision that I have made and I have my doubts, well I have my fears that our friendship such as it is will not perhaps survive these trials.

I pray to receive the courage to fight this struggle, for my friend to battle whatever her internal struggle is.  Maybe we will both come out on top.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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