“I’ve been on a personal religious quest for over forty years… [My] search for fulfillment has taken [me] down many roads and on some detours. At the start, however, three things for required… It was necessary first of all to admit how lousy was the place in which [I] first found [myself]. Then [I] had to imagine a goal worth striving for. Last of all, [I] had to find a way to get from [my] present place to [my] destination.
[I] began to see that salvation consists of a “from what,” a “to what,” and a “how,” and [I] have come to find that most human beings at times find themselves in the same lousy place [I] have known. Life often seems to be a blind alley where it is difficult to find meaning or direction. [Some] turn to the Christian Church, which speaks, sometimes glibly, of salvation and transformation, and we are given few specific instructions on how to find our way out. Theological or religious writing often gives us a “from what” and a “to what,” but is silent about a “how”. If we enlist psychological help we may find that our troubles are eased but we are offered no vision of the transcendent possibilities open to the human soul. Most psychological writing, even the best of it, gives considerable insights into a “from what” and a “how” but shies away from presenting a goal or direction or value for our lives…
…I also discovered that the depth psychology of [Carl] Jung (known as analytical psychology, in distinction from the psychoanalysis of Freud) offered an understanding and explanation of this way of salvation. Jung’s theories offered no obstacles to the realization that salvation comes only through divine grace, which alone brings about the transformation within us… [I] came to see that we need both the saving power of the Christian God of love and the insights of depth psychology if we are to be able to offer … men and women the transforming power of the Christian Gospel…”
- Morton T. Kelsey (from transcribed lectures delivered at the Pecos Benedictine Community to the School of Spiritual Directors and edited for publication in 1982 as Christo-Psychology.
What struck me about this 1982 quote is the same issue that strikes me 20-years later, we still have so few means of sustaining, nourishing, and deepening our Jesus-following lives; more and more people leave the Church in order to find answers to the how – how am I to become more fully, authentically and deeply human after the likeness of the second adam in and through whom we learn: (1) “what” prevents us from changing and growing; (2) who and what we are called to become; and (3) broadly speaking, how we are to get there.