“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
We live in our bodies. We experience life, and the world, and everything, and every other body in our lives, through the senses and sensations of our physical selves.
As a spirit-minded person, I believe there is more to us than flesh and blood, but for now, we are at least that.
Today’s reflection from Good Courage invites us to put ourselves in the skin of someone who suffers chronic pain. It may be this is not a stretch for some who read it- they already know it, because they live it.
In pastoral ministry, I’ve been invited to sit with people who were enduring so much physical pain, that they prayed for release from their physical body- for physical death.
I cannot say that I understand, from the inside, in a bodily way, what it’s like to suffer in that way.
I have not said, and would not say, to a person in such pain, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” I believe this is true, but I would not say it, for fear of minimizing or seeming to dismiss what they were enduring.
I would think it to myself, and pray it, and if the person says it themselves, say, “Yes, and thank God for that. Thank God this is not all that we are.”