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A darker reflection on the state of mankind.... - Light One Candle

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August 8th, 2005

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01:08 am - A darker reflection on the state of mankind....
I was surfing a friendsfriendslist, and ran across one of those "if you think _____ (ie, homophobia, racism, etc) is wrong, repost this," memes. I don't do that, on the chain-letter principle, but this one reminded me strongly of a piece I wrote back in college, during a very difficult year (for friends, for me).

It's not great, but it says what I wanted it to say; and it's still one of the prayers I pray, especially here in Los Angeles.

Oh God. Oh God. How many kinds of pain are there? The sum of the hurts in this world is too great for us to stand.

Jesus be with us, behind us, before us....

The child alone in the house does not understand why his father won’t come home. The woman on the street buys every day of life with lies and filth. The car in the junkyard is the only evidence that someone’s drink stole someone else’s light. The schizophrenic sees double, her mind twisting in on her in a spiral of fear and confusion.

Jesus be in us, beneath us, above us....

The girl who holds the knife to her own wrist can only see more bruises, more forced horror of closeness in the hours to come. The young man breaks a window in his haste to fill the craving of his flesh for the poison that devours it. The couple quarrels and one of them holds the words in bitterness. The baby wails for food that doesn’t exist.

Jesus to the left of us, Jesus to the right of us....

The monitor flatlines and the husband of two years is a widower. The child is born too early; it cannot breathe. A careless word derails the artist’s career. A family breaks with three words, “Mom, I’m gay.”

Jesus in the eyes of all who see us....

And for every one of these a dark, stinking spectrum of variation. An infinitude of sorrows, of pains, of rejections. God, what are we supposed to do in this world? What did you make us for if this is all there is?

Jesus in the ears of all who hear us....

We don’t have words to ease our own grief, much less the despair of those who see the failing of mankind as the loss of all our hopes. If you are real, as I’ve always believed, then, Oh God why do you let this go on?

Jesus in the hearts of all who think of us....

They say you came down and lived like one of us. That all this pain was yours as well, that you know it more intimately than we ever will. I hope that’s true, because only someone who knows this pattern will be able to break it (without breaking us). And that’s all I have to cling to in the dark, the hope that someday a star will descend and light up this choking night.

Jesus in the mouths of all who speak of us....

What right do I have to call down peace? I’m going to ask for it anyways: for peace, for rest, for a respite from this struggle. Fill the empty places of pain with silence, and perhaps we will find the strength to go on. Perhaps.

Uphold us today thorough Your mighty peace,
as we invoke the Three-in-One:
praying with faith in God,
with belief in the Holy Spirit,
with trust in Christ.


Current Mood: pensivepensive

(9 lit candles | Light a candle)


[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm glad...I wasn't sure it would be so to anyone but me. :-P
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, St. Patrick's prayer.

Thanks for this. It's important to remember everything you wrote.
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, St. Patrick's prayer.

Indeed. I almost "credited" that somewhere in the post, but then didn't. That prayer was one I prayed on at least a daily basis during the time when I wrote this--I couldn't bear to go forward without reminding myself that Christ surrounded me in everything.

I should pray it more often.

And I'm glad you were blessed (so not sure what word to use here, lol) by this.
[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2005 01:07 am (UTC)
I do not know that this is going to help you at all, but I do not think that we are promised relief from evil on this earth or in this life. What we are promised is that if we consecrate any suffering to the Lord, then it will be taken up in His Crucifixion, to become part of that which He redeems when he rises from the dead and in the world to come. Have you ever tried reading Ste. Therese of Lisieux? She has helped many people to make sense of pain.
[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2005 06:28 pm (UTC)
I appreciate your concern, and kind words. :-)

However, I'm not sure I need to "make sense" of pain...I'm not sure it can be done, for one thing.

If anything, it is writing things like this entry that enable me to get through it. The pain is transformed by the act of creation into something more. Fanfiction and original fiction sometimes serve a similar purpose for me.

I am neither (and both) of the voices that speak in the piece above. Question? Of course I do; but one can question and still walk by faith. Live in a state of trust and prayer? I do; though not nearly as much as I hope I one day will be able to.

I do not think that we are promised relief from evil on this earth or in this life.

Perhaps not, if by that you mean the absence of evil. I do think we are promised peace in the midst of pain, and joy in the midst of great darkness. Christ came that "we might have life, and that more abundantly". It may not be something we constantly experience, but it is there, the notes of grace that assure us of His continual care and presence.

Sometimes the tiniest reminder can be the most encouraging....

p.s. may i friend you?
[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Please do, and I will friend you back.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)

The curse we live under is so difficult... some days in the bright spring or the liquid gold of morning you can see past it, but there are other times when it comes roaring down, infecting, destroying, withering joys you never thought you'd lose, and then...

The best thing for me is to remember that the curse isn't forever. Everything that is wrong now will someday be made right. Not just over, not just finished (as we can only hope they will be in this world), but actually corrected, actually fixed, actually healed.

God is faithful: he will see us through to that day.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2005 08:25 pm (UTC)
Everything that is wrong now will someday be made right. Not just over, not just finished (as we can only hope they will be in this world), but actually corrected, actually fixed, actually healed.

And that's enough to make one cry again; hope hurts as much as despair, just in a different way. I long for that day.

God is faithful: he will see us through to that day.

Amen. Now, if we can just live, remembering that.

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