Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Live In My Image"

"I clasp the newspaper to my heart like a Bible. I weep over the tragedy of human life. My candle flickers in the darkness of the night. I am trying for an hour of vigil for my dear broken world.

God, my life is here before you like clay, but I don't feel very pliable. I feel angry. This morning with Psalm 102 I prayed, 'The children of those who serve you shall dwell secure.' I smiled a cynical smile. I like to take the Scriptures seriously, but God, we both know this isn't true. In the shadows of this night I try to make some sense of this Psalm message. So many people who serve you do not dwell secure, and neither do their children. I glance again at the paper. I see the poverty, the wars, the enslavements of the human person. I see, in may instances, the injustice people have to suffer simply because they are trying to serve you. I see the immense helplessness that so many people experience in the face of unjust systems. I see people getting rich from other people's miseries. I ache because of all the doors that are closed in people's faces every day. And I say to you, 'What's happening to their prayers, God? Are you using their prayers for a carpet in heaven? Well, they aren't in heaven. These people need for you to lean down from heaven. The people who are crying out to you are still in Egypt. It is time to split the sea again. It is time to save.'

We are the people who claim to be made in God's image. I can hardly look at what we've done to that image. I see the misery human beings suffer, and I say in regard to all this: 'It is enough! It is enough, God! Where do you hang out when your people are starving?'

In the shadows of this dark night, I seem to see God leaning from heaven again. This time God comes not as a tiny, helpless child, but as a sorrowing, desperate parent, and God repeats to the human race my own agonizing cry, 'It is enough! How long must I wait for you to put on the mind of Christ? How long must I wait for you to live in my image? What are you doing with the prayers of your brothers and sisters? Are you making them into plush carpets fro your own feet to rest on?'

I've never been very good at feasting on the daily newspaper. It turns bitter in my mouth. And yet, this is my world. This face of suffering I must embrace as part of my responsibility. Part of the feast is becoming aware of the world that is mine. Part of the feast is owning this broken world as my own brokenness. I clasp the newspaper to my heart and ask once again in the stillness of the night, 'What are we doing to the image of God in one another?'"

-Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B., in A Tree Full of Angels

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