I am Both
As I monitor how I live up to my own beliefs, my many failures, starting over again and again; it is hard for me to be shocked, though I am often saddened, and yes angered by evils committed by others. For I can find excuses for my own weaknesses, often playing down the harm I have done, yet exaggerating the acts done by others. I find this strange. For even when I know what I am doing, I find it hard to stop, to being harsh; so it one more thing I struggle with. The list so long that I have stopped counting many moons ago.
Empathy does not excuse, yet it does understand, for we each have our own burden to bear, inner pain unseen by others; for our facades work well, perhaps too well when the mask is taken for reality. So yes I fail, we all seem to, well perhaps their may be some who don’t, but I have yet to meet him or her; perhaps one day. Then, if that should come to pass, what would become of my many excuses, for my own evils done, to others as well as to myself.
Am I wicked? Am I good? Well perhaps the answer is no to both of those questions. For I see much conflict in the depths of my own soul, a war within that I do not know if I will win. Seeds planted when young take root, deeply embedded in the soul, the mind…… the unconscious waiting for their spring time of both good and evil. To be a simple loving human being is a struggle, yet many do it, so common that it is not adverted to, perhaps we should think about the good done and be surprised by that.
I am both dark and light, love and hate, good and evil, though evil seems the easier road, and easy slide, yet many fight it, seek something more. Perhaps this is what grace is, something given freely, each heart free to seek out the good, or to not.
So much pain, so much sorrow, the tears of mankind could drown the ocean. Make it solid, with the salt that is shed in the weeping of the afflicted over the thousands of centuries that swiftly fly by. We seek but are never satisfied, for once a mountain is climbed, well it is over, so something bigger must be desired, for we seem never to be at rest.
Many reject the reality of sin, for it is poorly presented. It is not an offense against a taboo. No it is an act of self creation that draws one further, one step at a time, from love, compassion, empathy; leading to isolation, rage, anger and eternal hatred……though I wonder if it is possible for it to go that far, for I do believe in infinite love, folly to some, truth for others.
Perhaps it does not matter, for is it not all a free gift. For mercy deserved is not mercy at all. The more a heart can love, the easier it is for joy to flow. Yet without self-forgiveness and mercy toward others, joy is but a fleeting dream.
Written byBrother Mark Doyle, OSB