On a cold November morning, I woke after dreaming it was all a mistake.
In the icy blur between dawn and evening, I could not pull out the truth, unravel reality into a line of things that made sense. For months we swore there was space and time, there was room for fear, but those fears would end. They simply could not come true after months of telling ourselves, “we are not like this, this is not how life works.”
What I didn’t realize was that another side prayed the same things, and woke up to dusty light.
What must it be like, to be a God who gathers prayers in incense sharp with praise and lament?
In the beginning was the Word, and we threw our shadows like arrows. We dug in our heels, we would never be associated with those who were crooked, lazy, ugly. I suddenly notice the fat under my arms and pull out a strand of dry hair. Nasty woman. A knot in my gut, my imperfections unlocked and exposed. Knowing I am a woman is enough “to make my wings droop,” wrote Saint Teresa of Avila and we wake from the dream with crumpled wings.
“Love Trumps Fear! F**k Trump!”
To serve the hate-gods, one has only to be blinded by collective passion. To serve the God of Love, one must be free, one must face the terrible responsibility of the decision to love in spite of all unworthiness, whether in oneself or in one’s neighbor.
We clamor to draw closer to Love, yelling hoarse, we retreat into darkness. What will we find there? A deeper well or only ourselves, crumpled?
His physical Body was crucified by Pilate and by the Pharisees; His mystical Body was drawn and quartered from age to age by the devils in the agony of that disunion which is bred and vegetates in our souls, prone to selfishness and sin.
Escape is heard in the light crack of a wafer, hovering in light. We receive it, tasteless on our tongue, the tension in not knowing the mind of our neighbor beside us. Silent with sore knees we bow, crisp edges crushed in our mouths. The resetting of bones.
As long as we are on earth, the love that unites us will bring us suffering by our very contact with one another, because this love is the resetting of a Body of broken bones. Even saints cannot live with saints on this earth without some anguish, without some pain at the differences that come between them.
They tell us Christ is King. But stumbling, we find him outside the wall, in the rivers we cry will not dry up. We keep praying because we know his mercy is wider.
In what despair did we find ourselves in? Where were our crowds? Surely one man or woman cannot snap apart a tendon of union, when one God is pulling them closer with a mighty hand?
Even in the breaking, he lies at the depths and stands on the heights to cover us, make us beautiful, though he is not safe. Words do not drive him away, and we crawl to him with a kyrie eleison to remind us we are not crumpled in His arms.
 Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation