This unity, which comes from the inner life of each person, is only possible when, stone by stone, the walls around our vulnerable hearts come down.
“Then we no longer judge ourselves as unworthy and we no longer judge others as unworthy. We see them and in ourselves the light and love of God. There is no longer a void or anguish or terrible loneliness, but a new life, the very life of God, surging up from within us. It is an experience of freedom and oneness with others, an experience of a fullness of life where one’s very identity has mysteriously given way to a new identity that flows directly from God.
“This wondrous unity is a promise of what will be given to us as we become transformed in God. On earth we may live glimpses of it, but most of the time we struggle against the chaos within. We struggle to keep welcoming people, to love those whom we do not like or who do not like us. We struggle to love those who are different or who appear to be rivals. We struggle to love our enemies, those who hurt us. We struggle not to judge or condemn people.
“Peace comes as we enter this struggle, as we work for unity in our family and community, in our church and between all followers of Jesus, and between all our brothers and sisters in humanity.
“Peace comes as we no longer seek to prove that we are right, as we live the truth of forgiveness and reconciliation and accept the light and presence of God within us and within others.”
(An Excerpt from Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John by Jean Vanier)
Dear Co-worker of Christ,
You had said “Yes” to Jesus – and He has taken you at your word. The Word of God became Man – poor. Your word to God became Jesus – poor and so this terrible emptiness you experience. God cannot fill what is full. He can fill only emptiness – deep poverty – and your “Yes” is the beginning of being or becoming empty. It is not how much we really “have” to give – but how empty we are – so that we can receive fully in our life and let Him live His life in us.
In you today – He wants to relive His complete submission to His Father – allow Him to do so. Does not matter what you feel – as long as He feels alright in you. Take your eyes from your self and rejoice that you have nothing – that you are nothing – that you can do nothing. Give Jesus a big smile – each time your nothingness frightens you.
This is the poverty of Jesus. You and I must let Him live in us and through us in the world.
Cling to Our Lady – for She too – before She could become full of grace – full of Jesus – had to go through that darkness “How could this be done?”. But the moment She said “Yes” she had need to go in haste and give Jesus to John and his family.
Keep giving Jesus to your people not by words but by your example – by your being in love with Jesus – by radiating His holiness and spreading His fragrance of love everywhere you go.
Just keep the joy of Jesus as your strength. Be happy and at peace. Accept whatever He gives – and give whatever He takes with a big smile. You belong to Him – tell Him:
“I am Yours, and if You cut me to pieces every single piece will be only all Yours.”
(Mother Theresa of Calcutta)
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will but also those of ill will; but do not only remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us. Remember the fruits we bout, thanks to the suffering, our comradeship, our loyalty, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart, which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgement, let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
(A condemned Jew in Belsen Concentration Camp)
I cannot explain the mystery of how someone who is a human being just as I am can also be worshipped. And yet the more real the mystery has become for me, it isn’t that Jesus has become more like God, but that all my brothers and sisters have. It is through him that I recognise God in my neighbour – through Jesus I’ve discovered the uniqueness of everyone. And there was in him a quality of willingness to ve defeated and destroyed by his enemies and to go on loving them, that alone made possible a new quality of life afterwards.
Paul Oestreicher. QF&P
So, dearest, our request shall be to share
Your single heart,
And silence, and your readiness to bear
The burden of the unexplained
By which we are perplexed and pained
Right from the start.
Sister Cyrilla C.S.M.V.
One foot in Eden still, I stand and look across the other land.
The world’s great day is growing late,
Yet strange these fields that we have planted
So long with crops of love and hate.
Time’s handiworks by time are haunted,
And nothing now can separate
The corn and tares compactly grown.
The armorial weed in stillness bound
About the stalk; these are our own.
Evil and good stand thick around
In the fields of charity and sin
where we shall lead our harvest in.
Yet still from Eden springs the root
As clean as on the starting day.
Time takes the foliage and the fruit
And burns the archetypal leaf
To shapes of terror and of grief
Scattered along the winter way.
But famished field and blackened tree
Bear flowers in Eden never known.
Blossoms of grief and charity
Bloom in these darkened fields alone.
What had Eden ever to say
Of hope and faith and pity and love
Until was buried all its day
And memory found its treasure trove?
Strange blessings never in Paradise
Fall from these beclouded skies.
Edwin Muir, from One Foot in Eden
Seek the Lord while he may be found:
call upon him when he is near.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts:
neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth:
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven:
and return not thither but water the earth,
Making it bring forth and sprout:
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
But it shall accomplish that which I purpose:
and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
For you shall go out in joy;
and be led forth in peace.
… in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus.
All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.