On giving, paschal mystery, and a woman called Etty - Roisin Pye - 9 Oct 01

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Good morning.

I've been thinking more about relationships and love and God. Yeah. I know that's vague! More specifically, I read an article from an old issue of Spirituality about Etty Hillesum (a young Jewish woman who kept a diary 1941-43 before she died in Auschwitz). It was dealing with suffering and sexuality. One of the points it was talking about was passion. Passion in both ways - suffering and sexual - and how both involve being vulnerable. And I know the joy that this vulnerability can bring, and sometimes the pain of it too. This links in for me to the Paschal Mystery that we mentioned last week, and the whole idea of relationships being about giving.... total giving, and how Christ is the living example of such total giving.

And then I was reading a tiny bit by Merton (don't know the reference) about loving ourselves and loving others, and that in loving others we learn to love ourselves, which to me makes sense. And how in discovering our weaknesses, when we're in relationships, we manage to complement and enhance each other.

Of course, that's ideally speaking, and there are times when we do anything but complement each other.... but that's life!

So, there's a couple of thoughts. I'm not really asking a question, so much as throwing some ruminations out there.

Thanks, Roisin.

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2001


Response to On giving, paschal mystery, and a woman called Etty.

I feel that everything of joy and loss and gain which we experience in relationship comes to us as gift. The struggle is to know how to receive that gift, be it the intimacy of love, or the intimacy of prayer (if there is a distinction), or in the collaboration within a community of faith, or the courage to be present to the other no matter what consequences are, or the courage to let go in the search for truth when letting go will throw us into some of the greatest crises of our lives. The Paschal Mystery is defining because it stops us at our own end which is death, it draws us to look into the dark emptiness of human mortality and therin find the kernel of the greater truth of God's power enshrined in our own bodies.

-- Anonymous, October 17, 2001

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