Sometimes our prisons can be beautiful. We see them through rose-colored glasses and though we are looking directly at the door to our prisons, it looks beautiful from our rose point of view.
Look past the lovely colors, and it is still just a door with massive locks. It may seem warm and soft because of the pink light, but it’s ability to block movement, constrict freedom, enclose and constrict is evident in the reality beneath the beautiful colors.
Saint Ignatius, when teaching on discernment, invited the encounter with a lamb to deeper scrutiny. It may look like a lamb, but it has a snout and a long dog-tail as well as clawed paws. Is that a lamb or is it a wolf in a lamb pelt?
When we keep making terrible choices, large and small, we miss the mark – we do not hit the bulls-eye of awareness. If we are not attentive, we make choices which serve to imprison us in such a way that though the door is lovely, it is still a safe door. As we make poor choices and act in careless ways, which cause harm or grief, then we lock our prison doors from the inside.
The work of life is seeing things for what they really are. At first glance this is harmless, unidentifiable and lovely in its pinks and oranges. But in the end, take off the colored glasses and all you have is a prison door.
When do we look at things in our life which confine and constrict only to see what we have made pretty by simply moving around until the light makes it look lovely? The great work of the spiritual life is not a sinless life; it is a life in which sin is seen for what it is, in metal-grey, not pink.