In our last reflection (Human Formation #3 posted on Nov. 20, 2013), we spoke of affirmation, the response to our fundamental human need to have our goodness revealed to us by another. Receiving authentic affirmation leads to emotional maturity and even opens us up to the love of God, leading to an experiential, felt faith. Yet, the hard truth is that none of us have been loved or affirmed adequately. This is obviously true for those from unhealthy families where, instead of affirmation, love deprivation and emotional denial characterize the family culture. But it is true even for those from the healthiest of families since imperfect people are incapable of perfect love. I mention this because sometimes love deprivation and emotional denial are subtle in their expressions. A surprising example of affirmation-in-action will help to illustrate this point. Dr. Baars writes:
May God bless you this Christmas!
Fr. Isaac Spinharney, CFR
St. Joseph Friary