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Gazing on Reality

The reality of the pandemic cannot help but hang over our daily lives. During hard times, however, it can be consoling to remember that pain and sorrow do not have the last word.

We might listen to the words of Josef Pieper, who speaks of the loving gaze of contemplation and the intuition of the “divine base of all that is.”  He goes on to say “that in spite of all appearances, underlying all things is—peace, salvation, gloria; that nothing and no one is lost; that ‘God holds in his hand the beginning, middle, and end of all that is.’ ”*

Yes, along with the grief and the sorrow, which we do need to honor, there is a deeper reality.  Even in the midst of the pain of daily life, God is working in all things for good (see Romans 8:28). God is working for good in our own lives. God does not desire sorrow for us, but when it comes, whether it is completely undeserved or even brought about by our own actions, God is present and working with creative and transformative love.

O God, open our eyes and our hearts,
that we may glimpse your transforming love
in our own lives
and in the world as a whole.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
    and delivered me from all my fears.
(Psalm 34:4)

__________

* Happiness and Contemplation, trans. by Richard and Clara Winston (South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, 1998), 84-85. (The words in single quotation marks in the citation are from Plato, Laws, 715 e.)

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