Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race! To think that such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstake.
I have the immense joy of being a member of a race in which God became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm life, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the Sun.
It was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God's eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. But this cannot be seen, only believed and "understood" by a peculiar gift.
—Thomas Merton. Conjectures of a guilty bystander. Garden City: Doubleday, 1966, pp. 157-8, excerpted.
Almighty God, the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Grant that we, being not under the law but under grace, may live as citizens of your Kingdom and rejoice in the freedom of our heavenly citizenship.
Psalm 18. The Monks of the Gethsemani Monastery.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.