Monday, April 26, 2010

Healing our Paralytic Narcissism

Dear Parish Faithful,


Pascha - The Twenty Third Day

"Sometime in the 1920's, a young man, practically a boy, left a note and then committed suicide: 'I do not want to live in a world where everyone is playing a con game...' All of this was suffocating him, he could not stand it any longer. But we are gradually harassed into accepting this as normal, and the horror of self-centeredness we cease experiencing as horrible ... This is what the Gospel story of the paralytic is about. All these sick, helpless, paralyzed people are sick first and foremost with incurable narcissism. This is what brings a person to cry: 'I have no man!' There is no one! And this means that a person comes into being when narcissism is overcome; it means that human beings, above all, are a face turned toward the other person, eyes looking intently with concern and love into the eyes of the other person. It is love, co-suffering and care. The Gospel also tells us that this new and authentic human being has been revealed to us, has come to us in Christ. In him, the One who comes to the lonely and long-suffering paralytic is no stranger, but 'his own'; He comes in order to take the sick man's sufferings as his own, his life as his own, to help and to heal."

Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Celebration of Faith, Vol. 2

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