I became a Catholic when I was 25. (I shared my conversion story here, if you haven't read it.) In my first fifteen or so years as a Catholic, I would occasionally catch a glimpse of a flickering and deeply attractive beauty in the heart of another Catholic. I didn't have a word for it. Whenever I encountered it, I felt like a dry sponge encountering something that I wanted to immediately sop up and take into myself. It felt like quality humanity. I always got the sense that the person who manifested it had no idea they were manifesting it. I sensed, especially early on, that this was something that had been fairly foreign in my experience of Christians in my pre-Catholic days. When I encountered this flickering beauty, I felt instinctively I could trust the person who possessed it.
And now I think I finally have a word for it: integration. The beauty I perceived in such a person was the beauty of being a well-integrated person.
Lately I've been listening to a podcast called Interior Integration for Catholics, which is all about the psychology of the interior life. I highly recommend it. I also listened to the audiobook Boundaries for Your Soul over Holy Week, which is a practical look at how to get all the warring parts of yourself to both work together and to come before the Lord. How to make the bossy bits of you calm down and listen, and how to draw out the parts of you that hide in shame, and how to give your overworked bits a break. It's good.
It is interesting to me that the Catechism says this in paragraph 2114:
The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration.
And then there is this, in paragraph 2338:
The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.
When I think about these two things: worship, and loving with all one's power, I basically see my vocation in life, especially as a Carmelite. It makes me understand why, when I would encounter this grace present in another person, that my antennae would stand up and twitch.
It seems to me that God calls us not so much according to our great ability, but according to our great wounds. At least, that's how it seems to me with my Carmelite eyes. We are to be the Great Empty before the God who is present to In-Fill.