They will pick up serpents

They will pick up serpents with their hands…it will not harm them Mark 16: 18  We all have a reaction to serpents, many fear them, some find them fascinating and some see them as examples of transformation, but many will say that snakes are more harmful than helpful.  This was yesterday’s Gospel reading but in prayer this morning the snake came to mind, and it sparked my Celtic Catholicism, and prayed to explore more of its meaning .

“They will pick up snakes… and they will not be harmed”; for many snakes mean those things that keep them from hopes and dreams because of their fear of snakes;  they see snakes as being coiled around them blocking them from achieving their calling.  For others the snake represents the transformation of the old for the new.   Those in the Gospel are called to pick up the serpent with their hands, take the matter into hand?  Are they being called to control their fear of change?  God says that when we seek to handle our snakes he will be there to make sure that no harm comes to us.  By the time we are called to handle those snakes, those changes, those issues; they can only have power over us if we allow them to, if we go into the emotional energy that still resides in the situation.

God is calling us to look at how we handle those difficult situations/issues and look for ways to transform them:

  • Suppressing/ignoring negative emotions. It just helps negative energy to accumulate, pile up inside the body and results in all kinds of diseases, strokes and ailments, including the deadly ones. “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die” – perfectly noted by Karol Truman.
  • Expressing negative emotions. This results in outbursts of anger, violence, fights and all sort of disturbances and wars. While giving momentary emotional relief it does nothing to resolve the root cause of negativity and either just make situations worse or cause them to reoccur and often with more problems.
  • Escaping/distracting/avoiding negative emotions. This approach involves willful shift of attention to more pleasurable activities to achieve on the spot relief. Addictions to pain killers, drugs, anti-depressants, alcohol, self-cutting, sex, sleep, food and other “quick fixes” are the most common ways to escape painful inner negativity.
    This of course does nothing as well to resolve negative situation and related emotions from frequent reappearing.
  • Releasing emotions. “Releasing” emotion may or may not work for you depending on how you approach it. If you transcend emotion (see below) – it goes away for good including the situation and all related associations that caused it. But most frequent and often totally fruitless application of “releasing” usually involves focusing on eliminating negative emotional sensation “as is”. Releaser can easily fall back to “suppressing” or “escaping” mode without even realizing it. Another variation of “releasing” according to certain teachings involves “diving deep into the pure feeling itself” and realizing that there is nothing out there. I never heard of many (or in fact any) people having lasting success with this way of dealing with negative emotions.  There are number of self-improvement modalities dedicated to “releasing” emotions.
  • Transcending emotions – the correct way.  It’s the powerful process that works the best when person understands exact steps that are involved in it.  From iDreamCatcher

Is a spiritual director working helping moms find God in the everyday. She has been a spiritual director since 1998: worked as a Director of Religious Education for Holy Cross Parish(2000-2005), was Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for Post Abortive women(1999-2000). Patty worked a social worker for Catholic Social Services (1988 – 1995) Then studied for spiritual direction at the Dominican Center of Religious Studies, DeWitt Michigan

She is married 20 years and has four children

She has a BS/BA in social work from Aquinas College, CSD Certified Spiritual Director

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