Sunday, July 14, 2013

At the End of A Difficult Day, Love Endures

I had a tumultuous traveling day, flying from Newark to Birmingham, Alabama, with a layover in Detroit. I forgot some important items at home, which will make my travels difficult. Tonight I find myself visiting with old parish friends before I tour civil-rights sites in Alabama and attend a teachers' conference in author Harper Lee's hometown. How ironic to find myself here, in a state that has endured so much violence and racial strife, on the day a Florida jury found an unarmed black teen's killer guilty of absolutely nothing. It can be so discouraging, this search for justice.

I am heading to sleep, praying fervently for peace, and thinking about the lovely drawing my friends' five-year-old daughter presented me with after she came bounding out of the house upon my arrival. I am reminded, once again, that we all belong to Another.

"...We arise, no matter what the time or the cost, and we hasten to help, to console, in assuaging Christ's pain in others. As we love Christ in our neighbor, he will draw us unto himself. Christ always comes to us in others."

Catherine de Hueck Doherty


  1. I am praying for peace in all of our hearts.

  2. So deeply sad... I am grateful for the light you shine on this day.

  3. I meant to give these meditations by Karl Rahner on the Sacrements generally and Confirmation to Maeve and Lucas this Spring. Just came across them yesterday while cleaning. Seem appropriate here too.

    On grace:

    Wherever the human being as a totality experiences himself in freedom and choice, wherever in hope he takes on an obligation which really demands more than he can give and which cannot be justified from a worldly point of view, wherever he hopes against all hope, wherever he dares to living in a way that is too costly, wherever he believes in the light although everything is dark and in meaning although everything seems to be losing its meaning, wherever he surrenders and believe this surrender to be his final victory, he experiences the radicalized transcendentality of man into the incomprehensible mystery of God. He experiences grace, even though perhaps it cannot be reflected upon and verbalized and thus made into an object of thematic conceptuality. Grace is everywhere. . .

  4. Karl Rahner, in his meditation on Confirmation and the Presence of the Spirit

    When a single sustaining hope enables us to face courageously both the enthusiastic highs and the depressing lows of our daily early existence; when a responsibility freely accepted continues to be carried out, though it no longer bears any visible promise of success or usefulness; when a human being not only experiences but willing accepts the last free choice of his death; when the moment of death is recognized as a fulfillment of the promise of life; when we no longer have any proof of the total value of our life’s actions, and yet have the strength to view them as positive in God’s eyes; when the fragmentary experiences of love, beauty and joy can quite simply be experiences as a continued promise of love, beauty and joy; when the bitter and disappointing and trying events of every day are endured serenely and patiently even to the last day, sustained by a strength whose source is forever elusive; when one dares to pray in silence and darkness and knows that he is heard, without thereafter being able to discuss or dispute his answer; when one deliberately embarks upon total retreat and can experience this as true victory; when falling truly can be called standing; when lack of hope can be seen as a mysterious kind of consolation (without any indulgence in cheap comfort); when one has reached the point of entrusting all his certainty and all his doubts to the silent and encompassing mystery that he now loves above his personal achievements; when . . . (we could continue these examples but it is really up to each one to draw his own personal experiences from the fullness as well as the debris of his daily life) --- this is where we truly find God and His liberating grace, where we experience what we Christians call the Holy Spirit, where the difficult but unavoidable experiences of life are welcomed with joy as challenges to our freedom and not as fearful specters against which we try to barricade ourselves in a hell of false freedom to which we are then damned. . .And the Christian knows that this Spirit has entered into an eternal covenant, one that could never be broken in the long history of mankind. And for this reason the Christian knows that this Spirit, poured out over the world and all flesh and operative everywhere, this Spirit who cannot be ousted from the world by the despairing No of the individual human being, is the Spirit of the Father of Jesus, the Spirit of Jesus, a Spirit in whose efficacy and victory we trust, in that we reverently look upon Jesus and His victory in death and in this look no longer dare to disregard the rule of the Spirit in our own life.