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Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation


Growth through Shadow Work

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Shadow work is humiliating work, but properly so. If you do not “eat” such humiliations with regularity and make friends with all those who reveal to you and convict you of your own denied faults, you will surely remain in the first half of life forever. We never get to the second half of life without major shadowboxing. And I’m sorry to report that it continues until the end of life, the only difference being that you are no longer so surprised by your surprises or so totally humiliated by your humiliations! You come to expect various forms of half-heartedness, deceit, vanity, or illusions from yourself. But now you see through them, which destroys most of their game and power.

The important thing is to learn from your shadow side. Some call this pattern the discovery of the “golden shadow” because it carries so much enlightenment for the soul. The general pattern in story and novel is that heroes learn and grow from encountering their shadow, whereas villains never do. Invariably, the movies and novels that are most memorable show real “character development” and growing through shadow work. This inspires us all because it calls us all. As Carl Jung put it so well, “Where you stumble and fall, there you find pure gold.”

Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,
p. 131

Gateway to Silence:
Christ shall give you light (Ephesians 5:14).


Fr. Richard’s story continues:

“Teaching and Me—Part II” in the Mendicant


“I am still not in control, and I still know that it is not about me,
but about Life and Love.” — Richard Rohr


Also included in the May issue of CAC’s newsletter:

  • Reflections by “multipliers”
    who grow and spread love
  • News from the Living School
  • What Fr. Richard is reading and staff favorites

Read for free at


(Read Part I of Fr. Richard’s story in the March Mendicant.)

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