A Darkness of Our Own Making

Earlier this morning, I listened to the sound of gunfire and bombing in the streets of Aleppo. The BBC World Service reporter said very little. There was no need. We already know there is a darkness at the heart of the world, but a darkness of our own making, created from our collective greed and obstinacy certainly, but also from our reluctance to get involved, our confusion, our not knowing what to do or how to do it. Apportioning blame, stridently accusing others, gets us nowhere. It does not lessen the darkness, it only adds to the sense of despair.

Advent is about hope, just as today’s feast, that of St Lucy, is about light; but how can we speak about hope and light when everything seems so black? I think the first Mass reading from Zephaniah 3 gives us a clue, especially these words:

I will remove your proud boasters
from your midst;
and you will cease to strut
on my holy mountain.
In your midst I will leave
a humble and lowly people,
and those who are left in Israel will seek refuge in the name of the Lord.
They will do no wrong,
will tell no lies;
and the perjured tongue will no longer
be found in their mouths.
But they will be able to graze and rest
with no one to disturb them.

Our mistake is to think that we can ‘do it all ourselves,’ without really changing our attitudes. Humility, truth, a recognition of our own littleness, these are not wishy-washy qualities. They are the mark of the truly great person, one whose trust is placed in the Lord and who relies on him; they are attitudes we must cultivate both individually and as nations, however much they may go against the grain. We know that the Sun of Justice will rise with healing in his wings and scatter the darkness  around and within us. May he shine upon Syria and all of us — soon.

We shall hold an informal Vigil of Prayer for the people of Syria between 8.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m. tonight. Please join us in spirit and intention.


7 thoughts on “A Darkness of Our Own Making”

  1. God bless you Sister Catherine. The way to universal peace in this world is through love for the Lord and for all our neighbours as our Saviour told us. A will to follow these simple precepts and encourage others is all that is needed. Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All!

  2. Amen and deeply heartfelt thanks. In an age of hubris and ‘me’ and ‘my rights’, this so needs to be remembered…and made known! Even in everyday/secular/ life, these attributes are no longer instilled, valued, and can no longer be taken for granted as a benchmark.

    God bless and strengthen and sustain you. Sending love to you and Dame Lucy on her namesake’s day.

  3. When I was younger, I used to hear the reading that “the Son of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings and scatter the darkness” very much as directed to the darkness in the world around me. Now I hear it very much directed at the darkness inside and within me: the easy selfishness, the disconnection from too much suffering around me, wanting to hide and to disengage, along with my utter inability, as an American, to encompass the evil and danger posed, I believe, by a Trump administration.

    May the Son of Light deliver us from our own darkness as we await the One who comes with desperately-needed healing in his wings!

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