Thursday, June 27, 2013

Discernment: The Human Cycle of Dependence, Independence and Interdependence

 We begin life totally dependent upon others and then move toward developing independence, a necessary prerequisite to being interdependent. Interdependence is a sign of a healthy sense of self, high self-esteem and a level of maturity that speaks of wisdom, prudence, and courage.   This latter sense of well-being is achieved only by those who have learned to take responsibility for themselves first and know when they need help. Those who are interdependent have built their “houses on solid rock,” as Jesus tells us in the Scriptures.

Discernment, as adults, means 1) that we know when others are legitimately dependent upon us and that we have a responsibility toward them, 2) that we know when it is essential that we depend upon ourselves, our abilities, our talent, acknowledge our dependence upon God working through us and guiding us and, finally, 3) that we know when  and how to work interdependently, acknowledging that we need the help and guidance of others:  Knowing  when and where to seek counsel; knowing when and in what circumstances we are powerlessness; knowing the importance of being open to and having the wisdom to  seek feedback;  in short, having the courage and the wisdom to enter into dialogue and mutual discernment in order to do that to which God is calling us as People of God, as Church, as God’s Kingdom People here on earth, members of one flock, one Shepherd, united in love as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.

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