GOD IS LIGHT

      Non so, fratello mio ... she sang, her eyes wide and grave, her empty palms upturned; “I do not know, my brother, if you have tried to capture in your hands the morning light….” Her voice unsteady with age. La luce c'è, son vuote le tue mani. “The light is real, but empty your hands remain.” Her great grey head inclined....
     She sang of a strange moment, astray in a wide place. Ho gridato, gridato, I cried aloud, but the infinite rocks returned my words to me unheard. I cannot feel your warmth, my God, I yearn with a woman's heart to embrace you. Ho cercato la vita, searched, searched for life and lived with full emotion, but when I look, all is turned to emptiness and loss. I am left with nothing and my God is only light.
    Once, long ago, tracing a mere item, she wandered into the back room of Being, and found with dismay that the world was made of nothing. It was, all her life long, a severe blessing; she saw things, people, silhouetted against the void, the strangest light. There hovered around the edge of every being an irreducible poignancy. How particular, how frail, how local everything was! If you saw it truly your tears would never cease... fratello mio....
    God? God does not exist this way; God is the void or hiding in the void - O God - a womb from where emerges every creature naked and grieving, orphaned from light into the darkness of the world. You embrace us, enfold us trembling, your tears running down. If I could hold you, my God, I could console all beings and every being. But you are light... son vuote le mani....
    Yet you came to birth through woman's blood, la luce mi tocca la vita, you are flesh of my flesh. You stepped forward from the void and stood among beings, you could not stay apart from our grieving. You feel our grief as ours, you touch us truly and embrace our darkness now as yours.
    Then she was silent, her grey head bending, bending to her shadow - the light touched but not possessed....


[Extract from In a Fitful Light, Donagh O'Shea
Dominican Publications, Dublin, 1994]

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