The Beauty of All Life

“The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls. In His love we possess all things and enjoy fruition of them, finding Him in them all.”
-Thomas Merton
No Man Is An Island

God’s love is universal. It is for all. We need to recognize the inalienable dignity of every human being, regardless of race, religion or nationality. The inclusively of the gospel requires us to love everyone, especially those living on the margins of society, the poor, the outcasts, the neglected and abandoned. We need to make ourselves poor with the poor, to identify with their misery, their grief, their sickness, and even their death. Only then will the poor feel loved and, as a result, strengthened. Only when we enter into this kind of relationship with the poor is it possible for them and others to detect the divine-human solidarity of the God-Man, Christ, with all men and women. Our lives need to reflect the reality that God gave us as gifts to each other.

As we grow in compassion we are able to see more clearly the beauty of all life, and we also increase our desire to transform everything ugly into something beautiful.

Love of God requires us to take a stance of gentleness, reverence and respect in our attitude toward all other beings. We especially need to cultivate respectful and gentle mindfulness of the needs of the poor. Prayer and charity are soulmates. Charity is the art of knowing how to do the will of God. In prayer, we learn what to do, how to respond to the poor, the persecuted and the suffering. And it is prayer that sustains and guides what we do for them. Action is as important as prayer; each of us must take responsibility for meeting the world’s need, for we are the accomplices of evil if we do nothing to prevent it.

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