May God make your year a happy one! Not by shielding you from all sorrow and pain, But by strengthening you to bear it as it comes; Not by making your path easy, But by making you sturdy to travel any path; Not by taking hardships from you, But by taking fear from your heart; Not by granting you unbroken sunshine, But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows; Not by making your life always pleasant, But by showing you when people and their causes need you most, and by making you anxious to be there to help. God's love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead. - From the Sisters of Charity of Paul the Apostle, Birmingham, England.
To know reality, I must feel it To know depravity, I must drown in it To know flesh, I must touch it To know grief, we meet. To know humility, I must bow to it To know fear, I must be it To know sorrow, I must be lost in it To know violence, we embrace. To know weakness, I am broken To know loneliness, I am born To know futility, I am faithless To know freedom, I submit. To know a language, I speak it To know falsehoods, I lie To know truth, I am silent To love, I forgive. 23rd January 2020, Somerset, England.
“Has God not made foolishness of the wisdom of the world?” 1 Corinthians 1:20
Yes indeed! And what an excellent job He has done. Here we are, masked like rabid dogs, falling for fear and division, and bending the collective knee to the most farcical of false narratives. The quicksands of worldly wisdom would have us all slithering blithely into the darkest depths of untruth and wrongness. And yet in the timely spirit of polarisation, the tangle of deceit that has been woven through all sectors of society is becoming increasingly palpable.
It takes more than the burying of one’s head in the sand to ignore what is taking place. It requires the entombment of the entire body of logic, reason and common sense, as well as the abandonment of the organs of feeling and intuition. It seems to me that these choices, made in ignorance, extinguish the loving spark that is present within every individual, the one that invites each one of us to care about what is real and kindle the flame of what is good. Though who am I to say? Perhaps the spark is just placed on standby.
The wonderful unravelling is underway! Last chance to choose Truth. Last chance to get right with God. Last orders at the Fallen Earth Saloon.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:18
Who else could have imagined a gift so wide and bold, as emptiness abundant for all from young to old? Each home a sudden cloister into which we are installed - take note, this points unswervingly to whom we are now called. Seize the chance to seek release into the real embrace, of that which fills the depth and breadth and height of every space. Stilled England, 2nd April 2020
Alone in reality
The man who fears to be alone will never be anything but lonely, no matter how much he may surround himself with people. But the man who learns, in solitude and recollection, to be at peace with his own loneliness, and to prefer its reality to the illusion of merely natural companionship, comes to know the invisible companionship of God. Such a one is alone with God in all places, and he alone truly enjoys the companionship of other men, because he loves them in God in Whom their presence is not tiresome, and because of Whom his own love for them can never know satiety.”Thomas Merton, no man is an island