Gerard Manley Hopkins

Carrion Comfort

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

  Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

Where Does Meaning Come From?

“What gives my life meaning?”

Is there any more central question than that? Most days we don’t even dare face such a heavy question, such an existentially loaded quagmire. Yet, we all carry this question–even if it is buried deep down within us and rarely if ever sees the light of awareness.


Perhaps the biggest hindrance in our search for the answer to this question is that so much of religion teaches people that they cannot trust themselves. They must trust an outer authority more than their own soul. Trust the pope, the priest, the Bible, but not your own experience. Trusting yourself is dangerous. It’s ripe for abuse (never mind how much the same is true of any authority). And so people look to an external authority, a voice from outside to tell them what their life is all about. Continue reading

Mother Teresa

O Jesus, only love of my heart, I wish to suffer what I suffer and all Thou wilt have me suffer, for Thy pure love not because of the merits I may acquire, nor for the rewards Thou hast promised me but only to please Thee, to praise Thee, to bless Thee as well in sorrow as in joy…

I love Him–not for what He gives–but for what he takes.”

Thomas Merton

We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories, and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.”