life

To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: “You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.” We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.

Vanier, Jean. From Brokenness to Community (p. 16). PAULIST PRESS New York and Mahwah, N.J.. Kindle Edition.

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I’m speechless
because I’m guilty,
swallowing hard at the extent of my collusion
with the deceiver within me,
the extent of my obstruction of the justice due you
to be the one who sees my desperate need,
who rescues me from my delusion
that you are the one who needs rescuing,
not me.

dw

 

I’m deeply challenged by Vanier’s perspective, both in the quote above and in this video.

 

Hope deprives us of everything that is not God, in order that all things may serve their true purpose as means to bring us to God.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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What is this hope that dashes all hopes,
yet is the only sure remedy for hopelessness?

An anchor that holds us, drowns us,
baptizes us clean, clean,
cleaner than we ever wanted to be
(but always wanted to be)
in water that is life itself
if we will only drown ourselves in it,
suck it in knowing it is the death of us,
us as beings with the right to choose,
for our own selves,
what we hope for,
even if what we hope for
would be the death of us.

dw

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I think…there is…hope that, if not tomorrow or the next day, then some fine day, somehow, life will finally give us the present that, when we open it, will turn out to be the one we have waited for so long, the one that will fill the empty place, which is the peace that passeth all understanding, which is the truth, salvation, whatever we want to call it. But one by one, as we open the presents, no matter how rich and wondrous they are, we discover that not one of them by itself, nor even all of them taken together, is the one of our deepest desiring — that ultimately, although her face is beautiful and draws us to her, life by herself does not have that final present to give.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Sign by the Highway”

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The heart is the dwelling–place where I am, where I live…the place “to which I withdraw.” The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others…The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death.

“…only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2563


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