Thea, lover of whole and broken hearts, you are witness to the last breath of the suicide victim. Abide with those the victim leaves behind; offer them your silent presence in the victim's ringing absence. Amen.
My second daughter, like my first daughter at age one, likes to pull my books off my bookshelves and strew them about the floor. I glanced at the carpet today and noticed there one of the books I was introduced to during my spiritual direction training, Miriam Greenspan's Healing Through the Dark Emotions. Apart from having found the next book to put on my to-read list, I've also been reminded that the dark emotions--grief, fear, and despair--have the power to teach, to transform, and to heal.
As I've continued to discern my vocation from God, I have come to a new awareness: if I am to be a Benedictine Canon or a priest or any other thing, I must release every motivation to do so that is driven by grief, fear, or despair. My vocation cannot belong to grief, fear, or despair. It must belong to love.
That isn't to say I must become perfect before I become what I am called to be, because no one would be able to embrace her vocation if perfection were a prerequisite. It is rather to say that my call must resound in the key of love. My grief, fear, and despair teach me what is dissonant in the key of love, and their dissonance bears its own beauty. But love is ultimately the sound I seek; love is the sound of God's beckoning voice.
Yes is hard to hear. It's simpler to rest in the undemanding solitude of no than to accept another's yes. No is quiet, empty, dark. No fuel filling, no attendant needing. Yes is hard to hear. Yes is harder to say.
Yes is sacrifice and stumbling. Yes is work of constant mending. Yes is wick's body spending.
Yes is a shockwave, torn soft cobwebs atumble, stiff limbs bending.
Do I dare tap this heavy bell again, awaking it for another day's answer? Yes, please. Yes, yes, yes.