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Behold, I stand at the Door and Knock Paperback – March 25, 2003
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I am patient. I am kind. I am not jealous. I am not pompous. I am not inflated [with my own ego]. I am not rude. I am not seeking my own interests. I am not quick-tempered. I do not brood over injury. I do not rejoice, applaud or endorse any wrongdoing or sin. I rejoice in the truth [even when it hurts--even when it's about me]. I bear all things. I believe all things. I hope in all things. I endure all things. I never fail!
Saint John of the Cross determined that the problem we all face is a "love sickness." It is a problem of the heart. He called it "inordinate self-love," commonly known as pride. Our friend, Slawomir Biela, in this book, goes one step further and he has this incredible ability to get to the Truth about things! He calls it "narcissism." I know, it is hard, even painful, to look at ourselves like this. We do not see ourselves in this way; however, we can see it clearly in others. Surprise! They see it in us too! Nevertheless, what is "inordinate self-love?" He's right! It is "narcissism!" Amazingly, we can love ourselves to the exclusion of God and everything else--and--not even know it or see it! Although we can only speak of it briefly here, he spells out the cure: "In order to start to free one's self from narcissism, a person first has to admit to its existence. It is necessary to open one's self before the Divine light and, through it, to accept the unveiled truth about the interior of the whitewashed tomb full of the pride of narcissism."
He says that only if we experience God's love will we be able to turn away from our own ego to God. If we welcome Divine Light, he says we will only gradually begin to see "the terrifying abyss that separates us--narcissists--from God." The Book of Hebrews gives us an insight as to how this Divine Light can enter into our "still resisting hearts, " saying, "the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account" (Heb 4:12-13).
We badly need to swap our distorted notion of love with that of Jesus, the Word of God. He must also supply the help in doing it. Slawomir Biela in this, another of his all 5-star review books, helps us to identify the problem and begin to work on it--of course, necessarily, with the help of God!
In addition, he vividly elaborates on key New Testament passages: the tax collector's prayer, Mary's accepting to become the "servant of the Lord", the bleached sepulcher, the Samaritan woman at the well, etc. Readers will easily recognize situations in our daily lives where those words are applicable. Just about everyday something I have read in these books comes to mind. You will be surprised to find out what having faith "like a child" actually involves.
Needless to say Dr Biela's series of books has given me a radically different perspective as to what closeness to God means, and how God acts in our lives. Basically, we are nothing and God in us is and does everything. We come to this realization by removing the blinders in our lives which impede us from seeing this truth. Events which appear adverse to us can in fact be God's instrument to remove obstacles that separate us from Him. More than ever I seek to recognize how everything I do and everything that happens to me is God's action. The key impediment is our obstinate arrogance and the only solution is having absolute humility before the Lord.
Readers should be aware, however, these books are written strictly in the context of Catholicism. The sacraments are underscored as conduits of Jesus' action. Mary is exalted as the surest medium to put Jesus in the center of our lives. You will be hard pressed to find a more inspiring ellucidation of these themes than Dr. Biela's.
I could try to go on but, again, any words of mine fall short. This is Dr. Biela's third book, and I sincerely recommend you get all of them and read them in order. I believe that way you will get the most out of them. They are short and can be read quickly, although you probably will feel compelled to take your time and meditate on their message.
Prepare to be overwhelmed.