Eloquence of the Shadow

The Eloquence of Shadows

Eph 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him. 
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In him we have redemption by his blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. 
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ. 
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.


     The feather above is symbolic of the connection between God, the bird, and humanity, we are in unity with one another.

    We are in unity with one another in our suffering, when we separate ourselves from the pain of others, we become zombies.

     These past weeks have been ones of baring pain I have never experienced in my life and one of journeying in the shadow. I see myself as a nomad. For nomads, the journey is not the destination. Nomads are always on the move and always remain in the present.

     I am beginning to understand, that in place of my annoyance, and fears, that I am trapped in the now. I need to make friends with who I am right now- a pilgrim on the journey towards being a “limper’ like Jacob, and a nomad. I must be fully attentive to the present.

    The name of our newsletter is “Peniel”, the place “where Jacob wrestled with God.”

I am wrestling with my shadow and in some ways, similar to that of Jacob, and he emerged with a limp, and I have often wondered how he coped with that limp through the years.

    As Sally Longley tells us: “To honor and accept’s one’s own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline. It is whole making and thus holy and the most important experience of a lifetime.”

We all fight  our shadows, but only in bringing them to light do we find wholeness. For me, my life has always been full of shadows, and in bringing them to light I find in the scars a way to know God more fully.

    John Chryssavgh tells us: “the demons fight hardest when God is near:  “the darkness of the shadow is in direct proportion to the brilliance of light.”

    And so for now I have faith that “All wounds will flower,” and the present moment is our home.

    The words of Thomas Tobin, sj remind me of my own experience of life:

“Through all of them (the events of his life) I have felt God’s guidance. Although I must admit I didn’t always or ever often, recognize it at the time. But in the end, I’ve ended up somehow where I ought to be in God’s good pleasure.”

And I know in the words of Jame Liette, “Jesus shed his blood for all people. No matter what, you’re precious.”


Father River Damien Sims, sfw

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94104



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