A joyous ‘me too’ moment

I was struck by Heather King’s column on Caryll Houselander, “Diagnosing a disease of the soul” (April 8 issue), in which she quotes the author’s perception of the most striking feature of that age as being “psychological suffering.” 

Houselander names this condition “ego-neurosis,” calling it “a disease of the soul.” She goes on to describe this disease as being characterized by feelings of unhappiness, guilt, frustration, shame, inadequacy, embarrassment, and anxiety. “That’s ego-neurosis?” Heather King exclaims in response. “I thought everyone felt that way!”

It’s the kind of writing that captured me the first time I read Angelus as a new Catholic about six months ago. In two brief, humorous, and insightful sentences, she cleaves through the heaviness and isolation of the condition described by Houselander, opening me to the freedom and joy of the authentic human connection as my heart immediately leaps in exclamatory response, “Me too!” Moments like this are when I actually sense the presence of God. 

In the very earliest stages of rebuilding a life shattered by alcoholism, it is in these moments that hope penetrates (at least briefly) through the self-condemnation and fear, and I catch a glimpse of the possibility that there really may still be a seat for me at the end of the table. 

I have experienced more than one such moment while reading King’s articles. I love Angelus and enjoy reading it cover to cover, but I must admit that I always start with King’s column.

— T. George, Santa Barbara County Main Jail

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