Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Quotation : Mary Oliver

If God exists he isn't just butter and good luck.

Mary Oliver, from "At the River Clarion," in Evidence (Beacon Press, 2009), p. 51

From The Cloud of Unknowing

Anyone who desires to regain the purity of heart lost through sin and to win that personal wholeness beyond all pain must patiently struggle in the contemplative work and endure its toil whether he has been a habitual sinner or not. Both sinners and innocents will suffer in this work although obviously sinners will feel the suffering more. And yet it often happens that some who have been hardened, habitual sinners arrive at the perfection of this work sooner than those who have never sinned grievously. God is truly wonderful in lavishing his grace on anyone he chooses; the world stands bewildered before love like this.

And I believe that Doomsday will actually be glorious, for the goodness of God will shine clearly in all his gifts of grace. Some who are now despised and held in contempt (and who are even perhaps inveterate sinners) shall on that day reign in splendor with his saints. And perhaps some of those who have never sinned grievously and who to all appearances are pious people, venerated as gods by other men, shall find themselves in misery among the damned.

My point is that in this life no man may judge another as good or evil simply on the evidence of his deeds. The deeds themselves are another matter. These we may judge as good or evil, but not the person.

via Magnificat, November 2009, pp. 332-3, meditation for Tuesday the 24th