Day Forty; Holy Saturday


Psalm 31

To you, Lord have I come for shelter:
let me never be put to shame.

2 O deliver me in your righteousness:
Incline your ear to me and be swift to save me.

3 Be for me a rock of refuge, a fortress to defend me:
for you are my high rock and my stronghold.

4 Lead me and guide me for your name's sake:
bring me out of the net that they have secretly laid for me, for you are my strength.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit:
you will redeem me, O Lord God of my truth.

6 I hate those who clutch vain idols:
but my trust is in the Lord.

7 I will rejoice and be glad in your loving-kindness:
for you have looked upon my distress and known me in adversity.

8 You have not given me over to the power of the enemy:
you have set my feet where I may walk at liberty.

Nature's silence is its one remark, and every flake of world is a chip off that old mute and immutable block. The Chinese say that we live in a world of ten thousand things. Each of the ten thousand things cries out to us precisely nothing.

God used to rage at the Israelites for frequenting sacred groves. I wish I could find one. Martin Buber says: "The crisis of all primitive mankind comes with the discovery of that which is fundamentally not-holy, the a-sacramental, which withstands the methods, and which has no 'hour', a province which steadily enlarges itself." Now we are no longer primitive; now the whole world seems not-holy. We have drained the light from the boughs in the sacred grove and snuffed it in the high places and along the banks of sacred streams. We as a people have moved from pantheism to pan-atheism. Silence is not our heritage but our destiny; we live where we want to live.
Annie Dillard: Teaching a Stone to Talk Pan Books, 1984, p 69