Saturday, June 7, 2014

Staying close to the soul, again


 I don't always do very well.

All the grace in the world does little good in a leaky vessel. Much of it drains through without having the greatest effect; and this is where weakness lies in me. Nonetheless, God does not give up, for He is determined and persistent; and to the extent that I try to imitate Him, to attend to his diligence as a pupil, so something sinks in and is retained.

It touches me the most, how generous God is. Why there would be any reason for this generosity to flow into this material world, to animate matter, to create life and allow me to breathe, is unfathomable. Yet not only does this blessing and this miracle flow into the truth of what life is, it speaks. It hears, it sees, and it senses — above all, it senses. 

Anyone who doubts grace or doubts love or doubts faith, or doubts anything, is blind and does not see how perfect and complete everything is. Even the worst thing is perfect and complete in God, and finds goodness there. There are times when I think the devil himself must have goodness in him, because he, too, was created by God, and God knows what he is about. The creation of all that is is never undertaken casually; there is always an exactness to it, and the exactness is part of a perfection. So the devil, too, is perfect. What a paradox! How can I appreciate it? I am too foolish, that's a fact!

 It's paradoxes like these that drain the wounds of modern times. We imagine that our technology has made us different than other persons and other times; when, really, we are exactly the same, except in the conceits we heap upon ourselves, layer after layer, about how special a different and wonderful we are. 

In reality, the only thing that is special and different and wonderful is creation itself, and if we have any specialness or difference or wonder about us or in us, we only have it to the extent that creation is already that way — in other words, everything we think we own, we are just borrowing.

And I say that it is paradox that drains the wounds of modern times, because our conceits have damaged us, more and more; we are infected with vanity. It's only seeing the contradictions that begins to remind me of how mysterious and extraordinary things are; that all of these events which seem normal are anything but.

It's in the closeness to the soul that I begin to touch something real from day to day; and in that intimacy, there is satisfaction. Yet the satisfaction is always a gift, and never something I earn; it is given so freely that I could not earn it, even if I wanted to.

 So I try to give thanks for this life. And I don't do too well at that. But at least I try; and I would rather be dead than not try.

Hosannah.

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