The eternal birth which God bore and bears unceasingly in eternity is now born in time, in human nature. St. Augustine says this birth is always happening. But if it does not happen in me, what does it profit me? What matters is that it shall happen in me.
That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.
It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.
By telling [our] stories, we come to see the significance and coherence of our lives as a gift, as something not of our own heroic creation, but as something that must be told to us, something we would not have known without the community of faith. The little story I call my life is given cosmic, eternal significance as it is caught up within God’s larger account of history…. The significance of our lives is frighteningly contingent on the story of another.
Those who commit themselves to the following of Christ pledge to share his life and destiny. Like Jesus, they do not regard life as something to be enjoyed egotistically but rather as service to their fellow human beings, particularly to the neediest.
The fact that you are not yet dead is not sufficient proof that you are alive. It takes more than that. It takes courage—above all, the courage to face death. Only one who is alive can die. Aliveness is measured by the ability to die.