As to the ultimate meaning of it all
- by Bruce Bawer
We know just what we know. We can't know more.
Somewhere far away there stands a door.
Somewhere there hangs a solitary key.
The end is near. The end is always near.
The end is all around us, every day,
In every cell of your body, in the rosy
Cheeks of your children playing in the yard,
In the strong bronze arm of your lover, safe in bed,
And in the house on fire, where the body
Of someone you love burns like a Christmas log.
And yet love happens, blooming as if from air.
I feel no obligation anymore to explain God, or why I believe in the Resurrection of Christ despite the universality of death and suffering. I won't pretend that suicide bombers, plane crashes and children with cancer don't make my insides crawl with horror. The truth is I have no real answers to give, and that any I concocted would be speculative at best. Being confronted by tragedy is like a bucket of ice water to the head. Death and suffering, the way they breathe all hot and heavy down my neck, won't let me sleep, or forget that I am vulnerable – just as vulnerable as any and everyone else – to having my comfortable little existence shred to pieces in a heartbeat.
I feel no responsibility to whitewash the pain of being broken with glossy euphemisms proposing that sense can be made of injustice. Thirteen years ago I surrendered my opinions and dependence on reason to the ancient teachings of the Church – I retired my time consuming (wasting?) quest to figure things out (Who, what, where, when, why is God, exactly?) and learned through the sacraments to make peace with the Mystery that is God and His mercy, the Holy Trinity, salvation. And now I'm no longer in the mood for a debate about the peripherals, not when the end is all around me and my only real source of courage is, mysteriously enough, self-denial. No, I will not try and appease your anger, your disillusionment, your doubts, but God help me weep with you when you weep and love you, serve you, just exactly as you are, lest the monsters, pride and despair, sink their teeth into my soul.