Saturday Lent, Week 4

On a bright sunny day a young man walks into his old school with a gun and kills children. Indescribable grief and darkness invade the souls of the frantic parents waiting outside. Irreparable loss has instantly - and as cruelly as the impersonal force of a natural disaster - entered some lives for the rest of their lives.

We want to explain the terrible side of human nature; but we cant. We have to accept the inexplicability of evil alongside the mystery of love. On reflection we may glimpse that the worst that human beings are capable of arises from the dark voids where love cannot touch them. If there is anything we dare call ‘meaning’ in it, it must be that we are sent back to life more convinced that we must love one another as he loved us. That only the power of love matters

We have to be prepared for death in whatever way it comes. Our spiritual path is hollow if we do not feel it is preparing us for death. The better prepared we are the more freely we are able to love the unlovable once the dark corners of our own hearts have been exorcised.

We cannot explain the tragedies that arise from some individual, ravaged psyches, but we can plunge wholly into the compassion they generate. Love then can be seen as the tsunami that swallows all destructive and self-destructive forces and heals what seems un-healable.

Beyond words, let us hold the broken hearts in Rio today in that love. 

Laurence Freeman OSB

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