Monday, February 12, 2007

Our true context

Only when we see ourselves in our true human context, as members of a race which is intended to be one organism and "one body," will we begin to understand the positive importance not only of the successes but of the failures and accidents in our lives. My successes are not my own. The way to them was prepared by others. The fruit of my labors is not my own: for I am preparing the way for the achievements of another. Nor are my failures my own. They may spring from the failure of another, but they are also compensated for by another’s achievement. Therefore the meaning of my life is not to be looked for merely in the sum total of my achievements. It is seen only in the complete integration of my achievements and failures with the achievements and failures of my own generation, and society, and time. It is seen, above all, in my integration in the mystery of Christ.

From: No Man Is An Island. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company

I'm not sure exactly why, but I found this really encouraging - perhaps it's something to do with the bit about "It is seen, above all, in my integration in the mystery of Christ..." The idea that our failures, as much as our successes, are all caught up in that mysterious intentionality is just amazing... Romans 8:28 applying to what we stuff up, as much as it does to what misfortunes may happen to us!

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