Coming Out of My Cave

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"Coming out of my cave" by Melanie Jean Juneau (CatholicMom.com)

Photo via Pixabay (2012), CC0 Public Domain

The worst possible fate for me would be to die only to discover I had not lived in reality but in a false existence created by both society and my own ego. Reality can only be found in God, lived in the Mystical Body of Christ, in and with and through the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to settle for an existence similar to the life described in Plato’s allegory of the cave.

The Allegory of the Cave

Plato describes man’s condition on earth as similar to living chained in a cave, looking at shadows on the wall cast from a candle; believing that was what life was all about. When one person manages to break free and stumbles out of the cave into daylight, he discovers the real world outside the cave and realizes what he thought was real was merely the shadows of real objects.

After he makes his way back into the cave to explain his revelation to the cave dwellers, no one believes him because they have no reference point; they simply cannot grasp this alternate reality. They have not experienced life outside of the cave.

Christian Life

It occurred to me that Plato’s allegory of the cave is a great explanation for the difficulty Christians have as they try to explain their lives in the Spirit because just like the residents of Plato’s cave, unbelievers have no reference point to understand what life is like when it is lived in the mystical body of Christ. It is a life lived in the light of truth, in a heavenly light, not in the shadows of an earthbound existence,

The spiritual life ultimately cannot be taught; it is caught. The light of God must be experienced, passed on like a living flame.

As for me, I need God to continually break chains and lead me out into His Son shine. I need to live in reality. I refuse to play games, wear masks and costumes to fit into a false persona I have crafted in my mind.

Christianity must be experienced. I can’t just read about the saints’ experiences outside society’s cave. Christianity is a heart-to-heart relationship.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church expands the idea of the importance of a vital, living relationship with God.

A Personal Relationship with God (2558)

The Church professes faith in the Apostles Creed (Part One) and celebrates faith in sacramental liturgy (Part Two) so the faithful might conform to God’s will in the Ten Commandments (Part Three). To believe, celebrate, and live this mystery demands a personal relationship with the living God through prayer (Part Four). “Prayer is a surge of the heart, a simple look toward heaven, a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy” (St. Therese of Lisieux).

From the Covenant with the Trinity (2564-2565)

Christian prayer is a Covenant relationship in Christ, springing from the Spirit and ourselves and directed toward the Father in union with Christ’s human will.

Prayer is the living relationship of the children with the Father, Son, and Spirit. The Kingdom is “the union of the entire Holy Trinity with the whole human spirit” (St. Gregory of Nazeanzus). Prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the Trinity.

Lord, continue to lead us out of our little caves into the light so we can live in truth.


Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau

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About Author

Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.

2 Comments

    • Talking to unbelievers can be frustrating. Another good analogy is trying to relate to someone who speaks another language, was raised in a completely different culture- it is like we are aliens from outer space when we try to explain life in Christ to the unchurched. It takes patience and LOVE.

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