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Sunday Meditations

There comes a time
    when both body and soul
    enter into such a vast darkness
that one loses light
    and consciousness
    and knows nothing more
        of God’s intimacy.

At such a time
    when the light in the lantern burns out
        the beauty of the lantern
        can no longer be seen.
With longing and distress
    we are reminded
        of our nothingness.

At such a time I pray to God:
    “Lord, this burden is too heavy for me!”
And God replies:
    “I will take this burden first
        and clasp it close to Myself
        and that way
        you may more easily
        bear it.”

–Mechtild of Magdeburg (1210-1280)

In the middle of the night,
When stark night was darkest,
then You chose to come,

God’s resplendent first-born
sent to make us one.

The voice of doom protests:
“All these words about justice,
love, and peace—
all these naïve words
will buckle beneath the weight of a reality
that is brutal and bitter, ever more bitter.”
It is true, Lord; it is midnight upon the earth,
moonless night and starved of stars.
But can we forget that You,
the Son of God,
chose to be born precisely at midnight?

–Dom Helder Camara

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