This morning I’ve been searching unsuccessfully in all my favorite sources for a way to express what I can only describe as the pain of the world – but not a universal pain. There is that, but the sadness/distress that washes over me now is closer to home, residing in Albany, New York, West Virginia and California. It is about fire and flood, the fire appearing on east and west coasts and the floods devastating so many lives in between. “We’ve lost everything” is the refrain from those whose homes are reduced to ash as well as people – young and old – who slog through mud still waiting for word of loved ones who may have been swept away by angry streams or rivers. One cannot help but weep for their pain. At the same time there are images of store and restaurant owners who open their larders to feed the people in their towns who have nothing. Groups form to shovel mud and fold donated clothes for the needy while others come to pray their grief and that of their neighbors.
I have watched news for months that tells of the devastation of a half-mile wide tornado or huge ice storm, but nothing has touched me as deeply as the past three days. Why is that? Are the losses greater or is it rather (or in addition) that a wider spaciousness for compassion is opening in me? Have the two brief reflections on mercy in which I participated during the last week sparked this response? Perhaps the energy shared at this weekend’s workshop here at the Spiritual Center, Windsor has had its effect on mine.
As I sit bathed in the beauty of a fresh breeze and peaceful greening outside, I hear inside a familiar guiding word from the founding documents of my religious community: The Sister of St. Joseph moves always toward profound love of God and love of neighbor, from whom she does not separate herself…Perhaps I am coming to understand that oneness in a deeper way now. I wonder, then, what is the call of that truth? “More love,” I hear in response. “So much love!” How that call will manifest remains to be seen but I know it does not happen in isolation. It is only together that we can, energetically at least, save the world.