June 22, 2020
by Amy Hoover
Creighton University's Retreat Center
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 371

2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18
Psalm 60:3, 4-5, 12-13
Matthew 7:1-5

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

What If I Have Trouble Getting Better?

Today’s Gospel reading and Jesus’ caution to be attentive to the wooden plank in our own eye before we tend to the splinter in our brother’s (or sister’s) eye brought to mind two related ideas.  The first is the concept of projection that I have learned about through my study of Jungian concepts.  Carl Jung poses that the primary way unconscious material becomes conscious is through projection of thought or emotion onto an object/symbol or in a dream.  Basically, we see/experience parts of who we are in others first – the speck in our brother’s eye.  The example that comes to mind from my own life was when I was going through some stuff years ago and felt like everyone was judging me.  This went on for several weeks.  I talked about it with close friends and my spiritual director until one day I really heard myself in a new way.  Suddenly, it became apparent that I, too, was judging myself and others.  That is not to say that I wasn’t also being judged but the invitation I was hearing from God was to notice how I was also a judge and take that to prayer.  I had to see the speck in others’ eyes before I could see the log in my own. 

Secondly, Meister Eckhart is quoted as saying “When the soul wants to experience something, she throws out an image and steps into it.”  I think of this much like a mirror.  For me, this is/was no more true that when I encountered an image on the internet of a young girl dancing in front of a large painting of a dancing woman.  To see the young girl free to imitate the woman in the painting led to a welling up of emotion inside of me.  The feelings of joy, admiration, desire for such freedom allowed me to imagine myself doing the same dance and in turn, ask where and how do I experience these feelings in my life or where are they noticeably absent?  My soul wanted to be free to dance so she stepped into that image.  It was a very powerful moment for me.

Today as we go about our day, I hear an invitation to notice where we might be projecting a lot of energy or blame or admiration.  Where are we seeing the speck in another’s eye?  Bring that to Christ in prayer asking where is that present in me? Where do I need to invite healing?  Also, who do I admire? why?  What do I need to claim as part of me? 


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