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  • Henry Schoenfield

The highest possibilities

"The highest possibilities are but promises. Otherwise, that fulfillment for which we long with faith and hope would already be here. However, because the end of things is already come upon us (as Scripture tells us), our highest possibilities are not merely empty postulates and abstract ideals. They already begin to be present. They announce themselves at least in shy attempts that do not yet fully succeed. But in the fact that the imperfect is here, herein lies the sure promise of perfection." -Karl Rahner

This line first found me nearly twenty years ago. I was captivated with the notion that the presence of the imperfect could be the beginning of perfection.

Only, then I got into perfectionism.

"If it's not perfect, it's not good enough," I would tell myself in subtle and not so subtle ways.

If the group that I'm a part of - if the community that I've surrounded myself with - if the ideals that I strive to live by are not absolutely perfect....

And then, a shift occurred. Perfect became, well, less perfect. And more whole.

And the perfect equation changed.

Working towards wholeness one step at a time became more manageable. Knowing that I'd always have work to do allowed my heart to relax. And open.

And the shy attempts at wholeness became beautiful - even when they failed because they were attempts on the way to wholeness.

May we set our eyes on wholeness - on nurturing wholeness within ourselves and in our world today. Knowing that there will be more work to do tomorrow. And that's okay.


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