Brian’s Reflection: Friday, September 3, 2010
Courage is as often the outcome of despair as of hope; in the
one case we have nothing to lose, in the other everything to gain.
Diane de Poitiers, born on this date, 1499; she was the French
mistress of the English King Henry II
Always the way in human Life , isn’t it? Thinkers of every stripe have written about this since the ability to write and express the core of our brains and hearts came about. Why not? We are Human. To be Human, to be a Person ….. this is the greatest Mystery of all. Equal with the Mystery of that which we call “God”. Because they are One.
Despair and Hope are what that lovely “saint” Francis of Assisi would have called Sisters. From either of them we can learn the great virtue of Courage. When we are in the depths of despair or in the ecstasy of Hope, with either nothing to lose or everything to gain, we explode in a possibility of new Life. New understanding. New wisdom to lead us on.
The key is seeing how Life is. Every moment of Life offers opportunity to enter more deeply into who we Are. Not only Jesus but every other great spiritual Master I have read invites us to the same Path. Whether it exalts us or humbles us, we can learn and grow.
“Religion” is meant to be the agent of this Growth. Alas, so very often it is the opposite. Many decades ago, at the age of 18, I discovered the Anglican/Episcopal Church, at a Eucharist. I encountered the “Sacraments”, in particular the Sacred Eucharist ….. the mystical path of absorbing “God”. My Life has never been the same, for which I am deeply Thankful. I have lived nearly 65 years, and should I die tomorrow, I would be content. I understand both Being and Myself, and the Being of each of those I have met along the way and continue to meet.
Diane of Poitiers understood this over 500 years ago. It is in our blood.
Despair or Hope. They will both lead us to Life. In other words, everything offers Life. What we must learn is to discount nothing as “God’s” Handmaiden.