Upon the Sudden Death of a Dear Colleague

Richard Dancey (1945-2017)
“…All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming -a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery, we remembered even the misery with tenderness. All of us, on seeing old friends again, have remembered with happiness the trials we lived through with those friends. Of what can we be certain – except this – that we are fertilized by mysterious circumstances.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (“Wind, Sand & Stars”)

We have been fertilized by mysterious circumstances. We have, each one of us, had glimpses, however fleeting , of the Spirit. These moments, these flashes of light may leave us trembling, or feeling as if the ground under our feet has been shaken. And then, just as quickly, we find ourselves, like the disciples after the transfiguration, (Matt. 17) back to so-called normal. Are we meant to just go on with our lives?

But the word “just” has no meaning here; there is no “just ” in the divine creative unfolding of a human destiny. There is nothing small or insignificant about it. There is no way to honor it enough.

What do we do now? What do we do after we have been touched by the Spirit, through death, or birth, or other mysterious circumstances?  As Shakespeare says in Henry VI, “Let us all to meditation.”

Meditation will bring us strength, compassionate will and clear insight in these weary times. Let us turn to the John Gospel: “In His Love there is no Fear.” We can allow these words to resonate in our hearts. There is no fear in love. From fear we turn. We engage our higher self. We learn to reach beyond our immediate circumstances, without disengaging from the world. We are gathering “material” for the world we want to see out of the substance of Love. Can we go so deep into our experience of love that fear loses its force?

This is the work before us. How much love can we manage?

by Carol Kelly



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