The past few years have been utter torment.
But in order to truly grow and gain inner freedom, courage, virtue, honour, dignity, beauty…
We have to let the old life die.
‘The old Adam,’ as so many have called it.
Flowers cannot sprout but from the graves of giants.
All that is from the old life cannot but die.
Richard Rohr’s book on St Francis expresses it well.
The only way to receive new life is to welcome it.
‘No hate, no fear,’ as Guru Nanak said.
Every one of us has built a wall.
There is dignity and courage and strength in building walls, but we also need the humility and the receptivity and yes, the weakness and vulnerability to unbuild our walls as well.
Only then can true life and freedom finally flood in, and renew our souls and bodies; in ‘the victory of compassion’s noontide waves,’ as a certain poem has called it.
Never forget, also, that there are two kinds of people in this world:
Those who light candles, and those who snuff them out.
Whenever you feel afraid, and the old life digs in and retrenches and barracks-up with all his might, never forget that the new life is waiting for you: the ‘Vita Nuova,’ as Dante Alighieri calls it. With the eyes of his spirit, Dante saw Heaven, Hell and Purgatory in all their glory and tragedy; and because he walked by the courage of faith and not the cowardice of earthly vision, he was counted worthy of elevation, so that the stars might finally spell out his name, in all glory and humility of grandeur’s chasteness.
Every time the terror and beauty of the new life makes you afraid, and the ugliness and mediocrity of the old life pins you down, shackles you and tells you ‘there is nothing else but this!’ never forget your destiny as a candle-bearer. Think of all the candles you have lit, and do not ever find yourself beholden to the perilous tales of snuffed-out wicks that The Accuser, whose name is Fear and Falsehood, has murmured in your ear.
Remember that every candle that comes into the world is born with one wick, and with one wick only. And why is this?
Only so that we would know we are born to borrow light of another, and to give, because we simply cannot stand alone.
Every candle burns the brighter for the generosity of others.
A threefold cord is not quickly broken, and a candle that is not ashamed to kneel and yield to the warmth and splendour and beauty of its fellows will adorn the temple of beauty, of freedom, of truth and dignity and courage, until the end of the age.
For its pain shall not be found by any means to no purpose.
The old man clings for life; but let him die.
The new life is awakening with you.
Do not be afraid: go forth in peace, and when you are at peace with all created things, so also will all created things surrender to the liberty of your loving.
For every human soul is bought with a price.
All of us are but smoking flax, but some of us are dreaming of the sanctuary.
Be evermore clinging to the light; for if you cling to the light, the light will most assuredly cling to you.
Originally published on The Broken Cross.
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