Below is a talk my Aunt Betty gave:
One day I was talking with my ninth graders about how happy they should be that they are Christians. One of the students said, “Sister, if Christians are such happy people, why don’t they inform their faces?” That student had a good point. What happens to our bodies when we go into denial? Do you know where all this explosive energy is stored? It is stored in our poor bodies, in our intellects, in our ways we reach out in relationships. In other words, we cripple ourselves. If you have ever been greeted by a sick, pasty smile of a “good” Christian, you know what the teens are seeing.
Doctors will tell you that 85% to 90% of the illness they see is caused by repressed feelings because the stress on the body eventually can produce certain diseases like arthritis, headaches, cancer, and so on. I am not saying that every cancer or arthritis is caused by resentment. I’m saying that doctors are coming out clearly and saying that the repressed energy (feelings) that you and I are lying about is truly damaging the body.
We come across to people as people who are dead, not alive, if our emotions are repressed. When I was talking with my ninth graders about the Kiss of Peace, one of they boys said, “Aw, Sister, you mean the fish-shake?” I said, “The fish-shake?” He said, “Yeah, you know that part in the Mass where the people hold out that dead fish and say, “Peace be to ya.” They hold out their hand, but it’s dead because they’re not in it.” Often, teens are in contact with the truth when you and I are not living our lives in the truth.
Consciously, we want to be filled with and live out His Truth. How do we reach our unconscious with the good news as well? The unconscious, which is about 95% of us, cannot be reached through reason. It can only be reached by imaging, by simple repetition, by psychodrama, by emoting, etc. Look at our commercials. They are always reaching our unconscious to get us to do things we didn’t plan to do and to die things we didn’t want to buy. They want to get rich off of us. And what are they using? They use action, colors, and simple repetition. For example, “I’m stuck on a Band-Aid cuz a band aid’s stuck on me.” We think to ourselves, “What a stupid rhyme,” but before we know it, we are walking through the grocery store and we’re picking up some band-aids. It is because we have been brainwashed. Advertisers spend millions of dollars finding out how to get us to do what they want us to do and manipulate control over us so that they can make more money.
What advertisers do for money, we need to learn to do for the love of God, our fellow human beings, and ourselves. We need to learn the ways mentioned above to reach our unconscious with God’s deepening truth. When Jesus said, “The children of this world are wiser than the children of light,” (Luke 16:8) He wasn’t affirming our lack of wisdom or apathy.