Have you ever spent time with someone and were left thinking, "I wonder who they really are"? Today we explore our true self in Christ and how we learn to live authentically as a child of God, and so are able to learn how to touch others and to be touched at a more profound level.
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
*A couple of brief notes:
The Church's spiritual tradition has long recognized this way of looking at the problem of sin and the false self, but it is news to many people. And for some it can be traumatic to begin to look deeply at your true self and things that have shaped and hurt you. Don't be afraid to speak to a pastor or spiritual director for spiritual counsel or a counselor or therapist for psychological counsel.
Addictions can require mundane work and simple restraint (good old "mortification of the flesh"), but it can also require therapy or recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery groups can be an essential resource in recovering your true self and the pain and growth that requires. Again a pastor, counselor, or therapist can be necessary as well. Get help!
At the very least, we all need the support, love, and accountability of others on the journey. Nothing can replace small groups, friends, family, and a spiritual companion.
Men especially seem to have difficulty coming to this kind of work. The idea of manly virtue has been reduced to shaving ads and being rabid fans of things. We have to recover the courage and discipline to do the work of wholeness and faith.
*Finally my voice is a mess, so if you have difficulty with the recording, it could just be the Reverend.