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.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waters
Mary shows us, in simplicity, that trustful charity which is totally oblivious of self. She does not serve God in her own strength, but the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit empowers her to play her part in drawing all to the Father through the Son. Always and in everything Mary points to God, drawing attention away from herself.
This is heaven on earth – you carry heaven within you…
I feel such love within me that it is like an ocean into which I plunge and lose myself. He is in me and I am in him and I only have to love him and let myself be loved at every moment. Wake up in love, to work in love, to sleep in Love, my soul in his soul, my heart in his Heart, seeing with his eyes…
Elizabeth of the Trinity