Thursday, December 30, 2004

"All Manner of Things Shall Be Well"

The theodicial aspects of the Indian Ocean earthquake are not to be dimissed lightly, nor to be despised. But I am often guilty of trying to reinvent the wheel, too. Before wandering off into deserts of theology and Hellenistic reasoning, we should consider the heartfelt thoughts of the Christian mystics. The is from the "showings" to Julian of Norwich. Thanks to Eliot, these are probably her most famous words.

This is not a response to the suffering brought by the earthquake and tsunamis, nor is it a comfort to be offered to those who mourn. But it is hope, in the mourning.
"It seemed to me that, if sin had not existed, we would all have been pure and like Our Lord, as he made us. Thus, in my folly, before this time, I often wondered why, by the great foreseeing wisdom of God, the beginning of sin had not been prevented, for then, I thought, all would have been well.

This stirring definitely ought to have been given up; nevertheless, I mourned and sorrowed on its account without reason or discretion. But Jesus, who in this vision informed me of all I needed to know, answered in these words, saying:

"Sin is necessary, but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."

An appropriate message at any Christmastide, one worthy of returning to before Epiphany.

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