Photograph by Lee van Laer
They took offense at my post suggesting that we (The United States, that is) or anyone else ought to take in far more refugees from the Syrian war—and, by extension, I suppose, refugees of any "strange, foreign" culture whatsoever who wish to enter our society as they flee the various kinds of violence that afflict so many smaller and less stable countries.
Yet it isn't good enough; compassion and mercy, if we want them to express themselves in our own lives and through us, as vehicles of the divine, have to risk something.
It's not so easy.
He sensed something true and real there. He was a man in rebellion, struggling with the darkest Angels of the soul — as we hear in his lyrics and see from his life — and yet he knew, in his heart of hearts, that mother Mary would come to him saying, "Let It Be."
Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.