I woke this morning to an unusual amount of reminders that so many are presently in the midst of upheaval. Today thus I am asking myself how to live in such a way that is respectful of the fight for courage and stamina being battled all around me. Are we not all only a phone call, an accident, a natural disaster, a diagnosis away from having to take up arms ourselves? Fear is not the answer, neither is ignorance or distraction. I must enter into the reality that there is another Reality, the Reality, centered around the purification and salvation of our souls – a mysterious Reality in which holding tight to pettiness and greediness is tragically ludicrous.
I long to proceed from here with purpose. Purpose (to me, anyway) equals eye contact, warmth, gratitude, creativity, prayer, industriousness, simplicity, breaking bread with one’s neighbor. Purpose says to hell with gossip, envy, insecurity, splitting hairs and, most of all, pride. Pride is nasty and blinding and binding and the opposite of a life lived to its fullest. Pride will trick me if I’m not vigilant into assuming I know better than you, or am more important than her, or less in need of forgiveness than him. Purpose is weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice.
I believe in both Love and eternity, and am truly most content when putting that feeble faith into hope-filled, light-filled action. Forgive me my callousness, laziness, selfishness and vanity. Peace be with you who are scared, overwhelmed, lonely, sad, sick, suffering – it is you to whom Christ reveals Himself in all His illogical, unearthly grace and truth, cutting straight through the damning fluff of triviality. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on us all!
By Scott Cairns b. 1954 Scott Cairns
We wanted to confess our sins but there were no takers.
And the few willing to listen demanded that we confess on television.
So we kept our sins to ourselves, and they became less troubling.
The halt and the lame arranged to have their hips replaced.
Lepers coated their sores with a neutral foundation, avoided strong light.
The hungry ate at grand buffets and grew huge, though they remained hungry.
Prisoners became indistinguishable from the few who visited them.
Widows remarried and became strangers to their kin.
The orphans finally grew up and learned to fend for themselves.
Even the prophets suspected they were mad, and kept their mouths shut.
Only the poor—who are with us always—only they continued in the hope.