Parables and Positive Psychology 5/6/20

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” (John 8:12)

Hi all!

Whether it has been noticeable to you guys or not, I have certainly been away for a long time, even after my Hiatus post! I hope that all has been well for you!

I am especially inspired to write today because of the above verse that spoke to me as I was doing my daily meditation reading (a habit that I have strongly developed over the past 4-6 months, and highly recommend!) The verse is found in the Gospel Acclamation of the Catholic Mass for today.

What struck me is how relevant this is to the times we are facing today. I think it is very easy for many of us to feel that we are in darkness in this time of social isolation and anxiety due to the Coronavirus. Even as many of us stay in our homes and limit our physical interactions with others, I think that there is extraordinary comfort in finding meaning in this verse today. If you are especially feeling that these are dark times, perhaps now is better than ever to contemplate what Jesus says in the Gospel, especially with this verse.

For me specifically, especially considering my background in positive psychology and well-being in general, I think of how Jesus truly is the light of the World. He is Hope, He is Wisdom, He is Love. These are only a few of several character traits that Jesus himself exemplifies (link provided below to see more traits). Many of us may even have extra time on our hands, and so we can take this time to learn His word better through scripture. Through this, he can equip us with important tools to combat these challenging times, including giving us patience to stick it through, giving us hope for better days ahead, and loving those around us even more when we are finally reunited with them physically. By looking to Jesus and all the goodness that he exemplifies, we can be illuminated by his light, so as to not walk in the darkness even through these challenging times.

I know for me specifically, my patience has been tested, my motivation challenged, and my values needing critical reflection. Putting my faith and trust in Jesus has helped to resolve all of these, even though the temptations and challenges are perhaps more present than ever! Looking upon his light in times of darkness has helped tremendously, especially since He is all that is good. He is all of the character virtues we should strive for (again, I recommend viewing the link!). Let His light and all the goodness He embodies illuminate you, so as to not walk in darkness. And if you feel this has happened for you, put it on the highest lamp stand for others to see as well!

If there are any reflections you would like to offer on this verse or basically anything on how you have tried to see the light through the darkness in general, I would love to hear about them in the comments! As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say, and I hope you are doing well!

https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths

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