Photo Joe Grant , © 2105
Photo Joe Grant , © 2105

…when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said, “I am thirsty.”

–John 19:28


When have you entered the sanctity of another’s suffering, or embraced a pain too big to hold?


Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. 



In its every expression,

the universe appears as roiling chaos,

but at its core, it is hunger and thirst for connection.


Unfolding into the void

with expansive energy,

existence radiates longing for intimate communion.


Such explosive outpouring

echoes an elemental ache,

the cosmic overflow of a bursting Heart.


This universal mirror,

visible to us only in darkness,

illustrates a paradox: in being broken we are made whole.


Mercy is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand properly this mercy of God, this merciful (God) who is so patient.

-Pope Francis


In complete contrast to control,

compassion is the release of love,

liberation that comes with loss, letting-go and being led.


Thus, it is our compass and pathway

into tenderheartedness—

misericordia to ripen consciousness from human to divine.


Behold then our Mysterious Maker,

who comes so close,

but does not condescend;


at-one with us,

by choosing to suffer, not because of us,

but beside us, inside us, among us.


This love-so-wide

perforates every boundary,

leaving us open-mouthed—agape!


Screens of separation dissolve

before the solidarity of suffering-shared,

unleashing mercy that will not be stemmed.


God weeps at love withheld, at strength misused, at children’s innocence abused, and, till we change the way we love, God weeps.

God cries at hungry mouths, at running sores, at creatures dying without a cause, and, till we change the way we care, God cries.

God waits for stones to melt, for peace to seed, for hearts to hold each other’s need, and, till we understand the Christ, God waits.

-Shirley Erena Murray


Nothing is below this God-most-low.

so deeply in love with all creation

that every bit is destined not for desolation.


Embodiment of aching love,

Christ showed the way to deeper care,

through the cruciform door of suffering we share.


We lose ourselves in the well of another’s pain

and become PART OF rather than APART FROM

all God’s children and everything under the sun.


And only those who have required

and received mercy

can savor and freely share it.


It takes a long time to move from violence to tenderness.

-Jean Vanier


For a God who is bent

on the restoration of the rest of life,

everything matters.


Black lives matter,

so do blue,

young and old and not-yet-born too…


Boy and girl lives, Muslim and Jew,

rich and poor lives,

me and you…


African lives and European…

animal and vegetable,

and even humble matter matters.


Such sacred solidarity,

sharing the one pain,

offers the promise of full-heartedness.


May we choose love over condemnation,

forgiveness over blame,

healing over hatred.


And with forbearance,

may you bear the burden of bearing witness,

standing with love at the foot of the cross.



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