Last night I watched the 1998 Terrence Malik film ‘The Thin Red Line’. This is a film that heightens the senses, with its beautiful Pacific photography, graphically intimate camera work, devastating circumstances and soul arousing script.
I thought of the Japanese people, and of the new and uncompromising devastation, that looks akin to the second coming, this time around not man made. The senseless lives lost….. “The great evil. . Where does it come from? How did it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from?”
I think of the bravery of the aid workers and international rescue teams willing to offer up their comfortable lives to do whatever is needed to bring relief, to begin to clear up the carnage…… “What difference do you think you can make, one single man in all of this madness” …..
I look to my Beloved, I know the limitless possibilities.
Currently I am in my Lenten Desert. Forty years done, now forty days to do….. An isolated journey, only with My Name scorched on it. A stifling arid landscape, with hurdles and hostilities like cacti swords that pierce my sides, deflating my faithful dreams. A crown of thorns naming me king of my desert. I am struggling parched. Frankly at times I feel like what’s the bloody point! No mirage of mine will ever become my kingdom. No peaceful oasis will ever quench my thirst. Each thorn that scores my head was nailed there by myself. The first cruel violating nail in the coffin forced in by somebody else, an imposter. All my choices from that nail made. My cross I have to bear.
I gave up bread and wine for Lent; I gave up my beautiful daily Mass at my Catholic Church (from which I can not be received in.) If God is Love, then I feel I can no more discern the word of God, than I can discern the word of Love. I needed some perspective. The Irony is, how do you stop being something that you never were in the first place? Or more ironic still, how do you keep being something you never will be? Right now I could think of a sin so deliciously mortal that it would be my greatest comfort, my heavenly release, my justified mortal reason for my unjust immortal exclusion. But although I have abandoned His church and refuse to go, He astoundingly refuses to abandon me. Maybe, just maybe, whilst He is with me, just out of respect, just out of faithfulness, just for the moment, just because I Love Him, I’ll put that sin on hold. Just like I did for the last 40 years. Irony indeed. Bloody barren desert!
Prayer is my refuge. My heaven. In the silence, surprisingly stronger and more full of clarity than ever before. It invokes “all things shining”. The intimate Love and infinite hand of my heavenly spouse.
“Love where does it come from? Who lit this flame in us? No war can put it out, conquer it. I was a prisoner. You set me free.”
A free spirit.
“He has married me with a ring, a ring of bright water / Whose ripples travel from the heart of the sea,/He has married me with a ring of light, the glitter/ Broadcast on the swift river./He has married me with the sun’s circle /T o dazzling to see, traced in summer sky./He has crowned me with the wreath of white cloud/That gathers on the snowy summit of the mountain,/Ringed me round with the world-circling wind, /Bound me to the whirlwind’s centre./He has married me with the orbit of the moon /And with the boundless circle of the stars /With the orbits that measure years, months, days, and nights, /Set the tides flowing, command the winds to travel or be at rest.
At the ring’s centre /Spirit or angel troubling the still pool, /Causality not in nature,/ Finger’s touch that summons at a point, a moment /Stars and planets, life and light /Or gathers cloud about an apex of cold,/Transcendent touch of love summons my world to being.”
The Marriage of Psyche by Kathleen Raine