WITHOUT GOD I CANNOT LIVE

I live yet do not live in me,
am waiting as my life goes by,
and die because I do not die.
No longer do I live in me,
and without God I cannot live;
to him or me I cannot give
my self, so what can living be?
A thousand deaths my agony
waiting as my life goes by,
dying because I do not die.
This life I live alone I view
as robbery of life, and so
it is a constant death — with no
way out until I live with you.
God, hear me, what I say is true:
I do not want this life of mine,
and die because I do not die.
Being so removed from you I say
what kind of life can I have here
but death so ugly and severe
and worse than any form of pain?
I pity me — and yet my fate
is that I must keep up this lie,
and die because I do not die.
The fish taken out of the sea
is not without a consolation:
his dying is of brief duration
and ultimately brings relief.
Yet what convulsive death can be
as bad as my pathetic life?
The more I live the more I die.
When I begin to feel relief
on seeing you in the sacrament,
I sink in deeper discontent,
deprived of your sweet company.
Now everything compels my grief:
I want — yet can’t — see you nearby,
and die because I do not die.
Although I find my pleasure, Sir,
in hope of someday seeing you,
I see that I can lose you too,
which makes my pain doubly severe,
and so I live in darkest fear,
and hope, wait as life goes by,
dying because I do not die.
Deliver me from death, my God,
and give me life; now you have wound
a rope about me; harshly bound
I ask you to release the cord.
See how I die to see you, Lord,
and I am shattered where I lie,
dying because I do not die.
My death will trigger tears in me,
and I shall mourn my life: a day
annihilated by the way
I fail and sin relentlessly.
O Father God, when will it be
that I can say without a lie:
I live because I do not die?
• Translated by Willis Barnstone
- St John of the Cross

 

JESUS, A KING WHO SERVES

This Sunday we began by reading Chapter six of John’s Gospel. The chapter opens with the scene of the multiplication of the loaves, which Jesus later comments on in the Synagogue of Capernaum, pointing to himself as the “bread” which gives life. . . .
A boy’s presence is also mentioned in the scene of the multiplication. On perceiving the problem of feeding so many hungry people, he shared the little he had brought with him: five loaves and two fish (cf. Jn 6:9).
The miracle was not worked from nothing, but from a first modest sharing of what a simple lad had brought with him. Jesus does not ask us for what we do not have.
Rather, he makes us see that if each person offers the little he has the miracle can always be repeated: God is capable of multiplying our small acts of love and making us share in his gift.
The crowd was impressed by the miracle: it sees in Jesus the new Moses, worthy of power, and in the new manna, the future guaranteed.
However the people stopped at the material element, which they had eaten, and the Lord “perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king,... withdrew again to the hills by himself” (Jn 6:15).
Jesus is not an earthly king who exercises dominion but a king who serves, who stoops down to human beings not only to satisfy their physical hunger, but above all their deeper hunger, the hunger for guidance, meaning and truth, the hunger for God [Angelus, July 29, 2012].
-Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

 
 

Past Thoughts

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

 
 

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