One of the greatest lies of the devil is that we can make ourselves immune to suffering. We may not accept this lie explicitly, but often we respond to pain and trauma by trying to build protective walls around ourselves. We subconsciously believe that if we create distance between ourselves and the world, we can avoid the pain that is a necessary part of being human.

Unfortunately, while we build these walls to keep out the pain and hurt that others can cause us, we end up keeping out Jesus Christ as well. Such boundaries do not only keep out the things we want to avoid, they also keep out the joy and the spontaneity offered to us through the dynamic indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Over time, they become fossilized in patterns of thinking and behaving that keep us tramped in our little egos.

The Holy Spirit will break down these obstacles either in this world or the next. This is one of the essential features of purgatory in that we must let the Holy Spirit break down the walls that are keeping us from God. This takes time, patience, and suffering. The reality is that we often create barriers in order to disguise deep pain that we do not wish to address. Learning to uncover and overcome these obstacles takes practice.

However, if we are diligent, the rewards are great. This is the path to inner stillness and the freedom offered in Jesus Christ. This means that instead of our interior life being an enemy that we wish to avoid and numb, our thoughts, feelings, and desires become allies in our quest for intimacy with Jesus Christ. With each new layer that is exposed, we discover startlingly insights into how and why we do the things we do.

Today, let us focus on asking for the courage and perseverance to walk this path of transformation. Let us ask for this grace confident that this is the way our Lord wants to grant us his peace and healing love.