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Jesus Creed

A book many of us are reading for this blog, and we will have a number of reviews from our readers, is by Alan Jamieson and is called Chrysalis: The Hidden Transformation in the Journey of Faith. I was reminded yesterday by a reader that the earliest post on this didn’t give much about what the book is about, so let me give a brief:
Most Christians live in a pre-critical stage of faith. Everything is clear; everything is bright; questions find answers. Some in this phase begin to hunger for more and it can lead them to some inner struggles and into chrysalis-like experience. Some Christians have plunged into some depths and come out with a nuanced, sometimes grey and murky, form of our faith where there is more mystery: these he calls post-critical. The stage one goes through to get from caterpillar to butterfly is the chrysalis, and Jamieson both knows and has studied this phase of the faith of many. (Not all go through this; not all come out with what might be called a post-critical faith. Many do; he describes that journey.)
I’m particuarly concerned to hear from spiritual directors on this one. Jamieson draws on Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross. The chrysalis experience, instead of being shunned, needs to be faced in order to let faith have its work; to find that depth of faith in the shadows; to find oneself in the company of folks like David. What seems like losing faith might be the testing of faith.
He examines these stages of faith:
Growing
Cocooning
Letting go (in the dark)
Letting come (from deep within)
Accompanying (being alongside)
Emergence (going solo)
Being (Imago)
Flying (butterfly effect)
Seeing the whole (looking back)
Being strategic (monarch waystations)
Beautifully hopeful (butterfly house)

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